YORK historians and staff at a local film archive are to join forces to examine changing attitudes to the Royal family in the region.

The Department of History at the University of York, in collaboration with the Yorkshire Film Archive, is to analyse amateur and semi-professional footage taken by local people in Yorkshire between 1918 and 1939.

Dr Mark Roodhouse, who will lead the project, said: "Between the wars, the monarchy's political power had begun to decline and they enlisted the help of newsreel companies to promote their popularity."

The project will examine footage taken during the inter-war period when the Royal Family made several visits to Yorkshire. These will include King George V's Silver Jubilee tour in 1935 and King George VI's visit in 1937.

The film archive is based at York St John University and holds more than 14,000 reels of film and video tape of Yorkshire, dating from the late 19th century to the present day.

Dr Roodhouse said: "The new project will develop methods for studying film images of crowds, and to highlight the importance of using film footage for historical discussion."

The project, which is to be called The Crown And People In Yorkshire 1918-1939, has been awarded Government funding, through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Alex Southern, of the Yorkshire Film Archive, said: "We got the funding because nothing like this has really been done before.

"It is intended that there will be a DVD and book released, so York residents can see the findings of the project."

However, the archive is open to public access for those too eager to wait.

The history department at the University of York has been rated by The Times as one of the top ten history departments in the country, and boasts a rating of Excellent in teaching and a 5A rating in research.

The project is currently open to applications from prospective doctoral students.