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Archiving and Preserving

The original material of the Collection exists in three formats: 16mm film, VHS video and Video 8.

The centrepiece of the Collection is Masque of Malabar, the 43-minute 16mm film documentary made by David Bolland in 1972 and re-edited as the prize-winning 20-minute film Malabar Masque in 1975. There are also extensive unedited off-cuts from the material shot for these films. The Collection also includes silent 16mm film of Kathakali made in black-&-white and colour in the 1950s.

The major part of the Collection, however, was originally recorded on analogue video in VHS and Video 8 formats.

David Bolland, himself, organised the copying of the material on film to U-matic, Betamax or VHS video and has subsequently transferred these recordings via MiniDV format to DVD. He has also, at various stages over a number of years, transferred most of the original VHS and Video 8 recordings to MiniDV and DVD.

In addition, working with two specialists from Kerala, actor Kottakkal Sasidharan Nair, and cultural writer, K.K. Gopalakrishnan, David Bolland has made voice-over English-language versions of most of the plays and Choliyattams. These, too, have been copied to MiniDV and DVD.

Working closely with David Bolland, Anthony Hozier is engaged in digitally re-mastering the whole Collection from the originals onto MiniDV format for Rose Bruford College. This process includes some additional editing and occasional quality enhancement of the originals. The full Collection is being transferred to DVD for convenient viewing.

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