Sir Michael Balcon collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Sir Michael to Ida Wilson sister of the Antarctic explorer and naturalist Edward Adrian Wilson regarding the motion picture Scott of the Antarctic.

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Elias Balcon was born on 19 May 1896 in Birmingham. Leaving grammar school in 1913, he worked for the Dunlop Rubber Company during the First World War. After the war, he co-founded a film distribution company, producing his first film Woman-to-Woman in 1922. In 1924, he formed the film company Gainsborough, which was later merged into the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, and until 1936 Balcon was in charge of production. He was head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's production in Britain from 1936 until 1938, when he took charge of production at Associated Talking Pictures, renamed Ealing Studios soon afterwards, producing films during the 1940s and 1950s that achieved international success.

In 1948, the film Scott of the Antarctic was released, and in the same year, Balcon was knighted. After the BBC bought Ealing Studios, Balcon served as chairman of the Bryanston Company, a group of independent filmmakers, and as chairman of British Lion. He became a director of Border Television and served as governor of the British Film Institute. He died on 17 October 1977 at Upper Parrock, Sussex.

Arrangement

The correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.

Note

Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and Dictionary of National Biography, 1971-1980, Oxford University Press, Oxford (1986) and Who was who, 1971-1980, A & C Black, London (1989) and Brit movies

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.

Accruals

Further accessions possible.