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Archives and Special Collections: Forsyth Hardy

Collection information

Collection: Forsyth Hardy

Collection reference: GB 559 H

Biographical / Administrative History:

Forsyth Hardy (1910-1994) was a film critic, author and administrator responsible for the production and promotion of films in Scotland. He became the first film critic for The Scotsman newspaper in 1932 and also wrote about film for various publications including Cinema Quarterly which he founded with Norman Wilson in 1932. Hardy wrote a number of important books about his friend and colleague John Grierson including Grierson on Documentary (1946) and John Grierson: a documentary biography (1979) as well as books on other aspects of film history including studies of Scandinavian and Scottish cinema.

In 1942 Hardy left The Scotsman and became Head of Information at the Scottish Office where he was responsible for the public information films produced by its departments. In 1953 he was appointed the Director of the Films of Scotland Committee, a body which supported the production of documentary films in Scotland. Hardy was also a key figure in the establishment of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and wrote a history of the festival, Slightly Mad and Full of Dangers, in 1992.

Collection information:

Research and correspondence relating to books written by Hardy about subjects including John Grierson, Scottish cinema, the G.P.O. Film Unit, Scandinavian film, and manuscript and typescript copies of books. Typescripts and cuttings of articles written by Hardy for various publications and typescripts of broadcasts and talks given by Hardy. Material relating to the Films of Scotland Committee including reports, committee minutes, financial statements, correspondence, press cuttings and promotional material relating to films. Material relating to the Edinburgh International Film Festival and other Scottish film festivals including articles written by Hardy, transcripts of radio broadcasts by Hardy, festival programmes, correspondence and press cuttings.

Extent: 16 boxes 

Catalogue information

The Forsyth Hardy Collection has been fully catalogued and a copy of the list is available below. A printed version is also available for consultation in the archives reading room.

Additional collection information

Access conditions: Please contact us in advance of a visit by emailing

Language: English


Publications: The following books written by Forsyth Hardy are available in the university library:

Grierson on Documentary (1946)

Scandinavian Film (1952)

John Grierson: A Documentary Biography (1979)

John Grierson’s Scotland (1979)

Grierson on the Movies (1981)

Scotland in Film (1990)

Slightly Mad and Full of Dangers: the Story of the Edinburgh Film Festival (1992)

The Real Picture: Films and the Post Office (1993)

Collection image

Forsyth Hardy

Using the collection

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