Home Movie Day: The Dr. Frank McDowell Collection

Home Movie Day: The Dr. Frank McDowell Collection

Date: 17/10/2020 09:00

On this Home Movie Day, we are excited to launch the Dr. Frank McDowell Collection.

Dr Frank McDowell created a series of cine films that explored his home life and the wider world, while working as a hospital doctor in Belfast and County Down. The films featured here afford a taste of his extensive collection. With a painterly eye, Dr. McDowell’s films document different aspects of life in Northern Ireland and beyond. This selection covers the period 1959-72, including events such as the Big Freeze of 1963 and the building of bridges and hospitals. During a work trip to Belgium he captures some stunning glimpses of the architecture and landscape. Time and again, he focuses on his family and there are some wonderful moments chronicling birthdays, holidays and the first day at school. Dr. McDowell is drawn to the water, returning throughout the year to the coast for sailing and kite-flying, and in the winter, skating on a frozen pond. Bigger ships also capture his imagination, with memorable footage of Belfast docks including the launch of the Canberra. These atmospheric films glow with nostalgia and they represent a significant addition to the Digital Film Archive.

We would like to thank the McDowell family for sharing the films and for their help in creating and cataloguing the collection. The last word goes to them:

‘As a family we are all delighted that the memories will be saved and passed on to our families and others.’

The films will go live from 10am on Saturday 17th October.

View the Dr. Frank McDowell Collection here.