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Barnes, Bill (William), 1920 - 2019



William 'Bill' Barnes was a renowned film history and collector, who together with his twin brother John (1920-2008), amassed one of the finest collections of early British cinema in the country.

Bill and John became fascinated with cinema from an early age. When they were twelve years old they had a home cine projector and soon after, still in their teen years, they started to make their own films and documentaries. Examples of the titles they created together are Cornish Nets and With the Gypsies in Kent.

Bill and John started to collect cinema material in the 1930s. The brothers served together in the Royal Navy during WWII. At the end of the war, they became specialist booksellers of cinema and pre-cinema material.

The brothers opened the Barnes Museum of Cinematography in St Ives in 1936. John managed the collection while Bill continued to build up the collection visiting fairs, markets and auctions around the country. At this time Bill was working as a Film Production Consultant in London, where he used to visit markets and antique shops. The museum closed in 1986 and the collection was split between the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin and Hove Museum. Eventually, Bill started to run his own stall in Chelsea antiques market selling optical toys, lantern slides and photo cine items. John, who remained in Cornwall all his life, died in 2008. The brothers had always been very close and Bill felt a great loss.

Bill became a leading authority on many aspects of the optical media that preceded cinema and in particular of the early years of cinema itself.

John and Bill wrote extensively on early cinema history, John was known for The Beginnings of Cinema in Britain series and Bill for his articles on The Magic Lantern journal among others.

Bill and John received an honorary doctorate from the University of Stirling in 2006 and the Jean Mitry Prize.

Found in 286 Collections and/or Records:

A Pretty Little Song for Pretty Little Children Song Booklet, 1892

Reference code: 178Z64.17
Scope and Contents Bown and white illustration on front cover showing a woman's portrait in the centre, a domestic scene on bottom laft with dogs and cats and a girl walking with a dog on top right containing the lyrics and sheet music for Daddy Wouldn't Buy me a Bow-Wow, sung by Miss Vesta Victoria, written and composed by Joseph Tabrar, also containing Francis & Day's newest comic songs. Printed by Francis, Day & Hunter, 195 Oxford Street, V. Publishers of Smallwood's celebrated pianoforte tutor....
Dates: 1892

Adam's New Diorama of Scotland Programme, 18 April 1885

Reference code: 178K53.8
Scope and Contents

Victoria Hall, Glasgow, 50 paintings illustrating cities, towns, mountains, rivers,lochs and the coast of Scotland, Scottish songs, solos, duets and humourous selections. Maroon type on brown background and maroon illustrations of views and architecture on the front cover inside programme, marron illustration of female figure and a deer on landscape, also press reviews inside and on the back cover, 2p.p.

Dates: 18 April 1885

Admission All Classes Handbills, 2007

Reference code: 178T47.2
Scope and Contents

Handbills for two separated events of Admissions All Classes, containing colour photographs and listing of acts.

Dates: 2007

Agricultural Hall Poster, c1838 - 1842

Reference code: 178R53.21
Scope and Contents Black type on green background. St. Mary's Hall, Islington, Messrs. Poole's The World gigantic pictorial enterprise, The Wars in South Africa and Afghanistan, Grand Nautical Effect, British Fleet Forcing the Dardanelles, General Robert's Triumphal Entry into Cabul, Destruction of H.M.S. Doterel, The Assassination of the Czar of Russia, Holy Land, Capitals of Europe, Miss Ada Violet Poole, G.H. Henry & L.D. Poynter, Herr Blitz, Mr Felix Somers, Mr Oscar Hartwell. Printed by James Upton,...
Dates: c1838 - 1842

Albany Wards Imperial Electric Pictures Poster, Monday 16 January c1888 - 1899

Reference code: 178R53.34
Scope and Contents

Jubilee Hall, Weymouth. Red and Black type on off white background with blue border. East Lynne in Father Minds the Baby, Neilsons, World's latest events, Miss May Neale, Astor, Bridges Burned, Billy Ross & Co in Mr Maloney's Troubles. Printed by Osonian Press, Park End Street, Oxford.

Dates: Monday 16 January c1888 - 1899

Alhambra Theatre of Varieties Programme, 5 July 1897

Reference code: 178K53.43
Scope and Contents

Leicester Square, London, Emmy's Trained Toy Terriers, The Tzigane, Musical Dale, Dagmar and De Celle, Mlle La Tostia, May and Flora Hengler, The Frank Bonhair Troupe of Acrobats, Miss Cissie Loftus, Victoria and Merrie England, Sells and Young. Colour illustration of chrubs and two women floating in the air holding wreaths of flowers and a banner with the theatre's name on it on a golden background on the front, on the reverse programme, 1p.

Dates: 5 July 1897

Alhambra Theatre of Varieties Programme, 10 August 1896

Reference code: 178K53.122
Scope and Contents

Leiscetes Square, London. Three fold programme containing colour illustration of women and Pierrots dancing on the outside, inside commercial advertising and programme listing The Musical Korries, Emmy's Troupe of Trained Toy Terriers, The Luppus, The Newsky Roussotine Troupe, The Animatographe, Mr Morris Cronin, Rip Van Winkle dramatic ballet and Les Minstrels Dumond.

Dates: 10 August 1896

Alhambra Theatre Programme, 19 November 1900

Reference code: 178K53.100
Scope and Contents

Red type on off white background and a crescent moon and a star on front cover, inside black and white illustrations of the teatre building, introduction to The Handy Man, commercial advertising, programme of sporting events, programme in the centre listing Du Cane Trio, The Animatograph, A Patriotic Military Ballet, Mr Edward Lauri, M & Mlle. theresa, The Hills, Mlle. Helene Gerard, The Marvellous Craggs, Cincinatti Juggler, The Handy Man, Webb & Hassan and Huline Bros. 5p.p.

Dates: 19 November 1900

An Account of, and Some Personal Memories of, Cinema Activity in the North East of Scotland Monograph, c2018

Reference code: 178B44.5
Scope and Contents

Monograph about early cinema in Scotland by Ronald Grant. Typescript and some hand written notes, 7p.p

Dates: c2018

Argyle Theatre of Variety Poster, 7 November 1897

Reference code: 178R53.20
Scope and Contents Birkenhead. The Famoust American Biograph invented by Herman Cassler, including royalty in private life, the Prince of Wales' tea party, Galtee more winning the Derby, military review at Aldershot, Henley Regatta, naval review at Spithead, the marvellous fire bridage turnout, The Empire State Express, the pillow fight, Booker & Narbis, Miss Jenny Valmore, Herbert Lisle, Sandy & Carl, Tom Mulvaney, Sisters Santley, Morney Cash, Florence and Lilian. Red and blue type on white...
Dates: 7 November 1897

Assembly Room Programme, 4 - 6 December 1902

Reference code: 178K53.96
Scope and Contents Glastonbury. Black type on light pink background listing Thomas Edison Animated Photo Co. on the front cover, inside Edison's Royal Bioscope operated by Ralph Morgan showing, His Majesty the King's Coronation Procession, Lord Kitchener's return, Our Navy, Spanish Bull Fight, England v Australia, Stag Hunting in the West of England, singing animated pictures, General Buller, series of North Sea fishing, Cruise of Ophir, The Great Fire Scene, Magic Sword and Tableau of Piece, on the back...
Dates: 4 - 6 December 1902

Assembly Rooms Poster, Wednesday 15 May c1901

Reference code: 178R53.49
Scope and Contents

Cheltenham. Hamilton's Grand New Diorama Under the British Flag, Russo-Turkish War, Constantinople, Bombardment of Rustchuck, Shipka Pass, Storming Fort of St. Nicholas, Fall of Plevna, Mount Aararat, Turks at Pray, Persia, India, China, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mr Frank Freeland, National and Patriotic War Songs. Black and red type on white background. Printed by Stafford and Co, Printers and Engravers, Nottingham.

Dates: Wednesday 15 May c1901

Assembly Rooms Poster, 9 July 1874

Reference code: 178R53.59
Scope and Contents

Huntriss Row, Scarborough. Aetheroscope, Grand Fashionable Night, Patronace of Col. Child and the Officers of the 2nd West York Engineer Volunteers, Faust, Professor Pepper's Proteus; Or We Are Here but Not Here, The Haunted House. Black type on silk with pink tassels.

Dates: 9 July 1874

Berlin Winter Garten Programme, 1937

Reference code: 178K53.33
Scope and Contents Michaela Busch, equestrian act, Oscar Albrecht, comedy act, Valnohas, Marvelli, magic act, Manley u. Austin, acrobatic act, London Ballett, Gina Ginotti, acrobatic act, Gloria Grant, Swing-Sextett, dancing act, 5 Slatanachs, bicycle acrobatics act, South China, acrobatic act, 3 Marvels, acrobatic act. Colour illustration of two women dancing and a woman riding a white horse on a green background on the front cover, inside programme, black and white photographs of acts and performers with...
Dates: 1937

Bill Barnes Collection

Reference code: NFA0172
Scope and Contents

Programmes, posters and photographs mainly related to the Poole family's travelling Myriorama show.

Dates: 1881 - 2017

Brick Lane Music Hall Handbill, 2016 - 2017

Reference code: 178T47.1
Scope and Contents

Colour photograph of music hall performers waving Union Jacks on the front cover, inside colour photographs of acts and some informantion.

Dates: 2016 - 2017

Bristol Hippodrome Programme, 3 February 1913

Reference code: 178K53.104
Scope and Contents

Bown and white illustration of architectural arch with four dancing women and a seascape on the background with two figures riding a horse on the front cover, inside commercial advertising and programme listing Inez and Pim, Daisy Sloan, Wild Australia, Fun in the Stockade, Sport and Play, Wild Jessie, Florina Cody, Percy Hayden, Draww, Hambo & Frisco, Haidee de Rance, Percy Honri in Bohemia on the Bioscope and Mouth of the Arbour, 4p.p.

Dates: 3 February 1913

Bristol Hippodrome Programme, 1 January 1913

Reference code: 178K53.105
Scope and Contents

Bown and white illustration of architectural arch with four dancing women and a seascape on the background with two figures riding a horse on the front cover, inside commercial advertising and programme listing Furness Willaims, Frederick Sylvester & Co., Monkey Music Hall, Lorna & Toots Punds, Canova's celebrated living porcelains on the bioscope, 4p.p.

Dates: 1 January 1913

Bycullah Athenaeum Programme, 11 October 1907

Reference code: 178K53.99
Scope and Contents

Endifield. Black type on green background listing popular lectures, Madame Bertha Moore, Professor W.B. Bottomley, Richard Kearton, F. Ormiston Smith, Miss Madeleine O'Connor and Dr A.H. Fison.

Dates: 11 October 1907

Café Concert Tous les Soirs Cinematographe Poster, c1890 - 1900

Reference code: 178R53.32
Scope and Contents

Advertising poster for venue booking. Multicoloured text on yellow, green and pink backgrounds and white border, also theatrical illustrations on top section. Printed by H. Vial Editeur, Succ de Ch. Juliot, a Dourdan (C&O).

Dates: c1890 - 1900

Additional filters:

Archival Object 285
Collection 1
Acrobats 7
Aerialists 5
Anglo-Afghan Wars 10
Anglo-Burmese War, 3rd, 1885 4
Anglo-Egyptian War, 1882 33