Film and Television: Archives

ARCHIVES

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Activities also include preservation of the moving image.

American Film Institute
Website of the preeminent arts organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of the moving image.

American Memory from the Library of Congress
Includes early motion pictures.

Anthology Film Archives
Anthology preserves and exhibits motion pictures, collects literature and documents, and promotes understanding of cinema for students, scholars, the public.

Archives With Significant Holdings of Silent Films
Listing of U.S. archives with silent film holdings.

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
The Pacific Film Archive (PFA) is an internationally recognized center for the exhibition and study of cinema.

Black Film Center/Archive
Established in 1981, the Black Film Center/Archive is dedicated to collecting and preserving significant films by and about Black people. 

BFI: British Film Institute
BFI's mission is to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of film, television and the moving image.

FIAF: International Federation of Film Archives
The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) brings together institutions dedicated to rescuing films both as cultural heritage and as historical documents.

Motion Picture and Television Reading Room (Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress)
Division responsible for the acquisition, cataloging and preservation of the motion picture and television collections notably paper print collection, copyright collection and AFI collection.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - Film Study Center 
Founded in 1935, the collection includes more than 14,000 films and four million film stills; the strongest international film collection in the United States, it incorporates all periods and genres.

Museum of the Moving Image
The mission of the Museum of the Moving Image is focused on understanding film as an art form. Core exhibition illustrates the creative process of making moving images. Jim Henson Exhibition includes more than 400 artifacts from the artist. 

National Archives and Records Administration
Collection dates 1894 to present and includes 35,000 sound recordings, 4.5 million photographic items, 150,000 reels of motion picture film and 20,000+ videotapes, including public domain motion pictures created by more than 75 Federal agencies.

National Film Preservation Board (Library of Congress)
Advisory group to the Librarian of Congress with representatives from the film industry, archives, scholars, filmmakers and others.

National Film Preservation Foundation
A non-profit organization created by the U.S. Congress to save America's film heritage by supporting preservation activities nationwide.

Paley Center
Founded by William S. Paley, the Paley Center for Media collects and preserves television programming with locations in New York and Los Angeles

Paul's 16mm Film Collecting Pages
Some useful information such as School Film Archives and links.

Public Moving Image Archives and Research Centers--National Film Preservation Board (Library of Congress)
A Library of Congress Internet Resource Page. Page provides links to archives and preservation units U.S. and international.

Treasures from the Film Archives
The database Includes information about the silent film holdings in international film archives. The holdings are published by the International Federation of Film Archives,

UCLA Film & Television Archive
UCLA Film & Television Archive is the second largest moving image archive in the United States after the Library of Congress, and the world’s largest university-based media archive.

Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research
The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR) is one of the world’s major archives of research materials relating to the entertainment industry.

 

STUDIO ARCHIVES

The following is a working list of known locations with significant print archival holdings documenting specific studios, including those collections not held in publicly accessible institutions. However, the papers of individuals (actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, costumers, etc.) connected with specific studios may also be available in other locations throughout the country, and are not listed here. Suggestions and information leads for this list are encouraged!

CBS: UCLA holds music-related manuscripts, books, printed music, sound recordings and business papers relating to CBS productions from 1955-1983. Finding aid is available.

Disney:  Disney maintains an extensive in-house archive, but it is not open to the public. UCLA owns some publicity ephemera from 1938-1980s.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM): There is no fully centralized or comprehensive archive available for MGM, and unfortunately some of the studio's archival records were likely discarded. For instance, all of its musical material, including orchestra arrangements and parts, were discarded in the late 1960s. However, some content is available at USC https://libraries.usc.edu/locations/special-collections, the Margaret Herrick Library (art, legal, production, and wardrobe departments, as well as scripts), UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections (architectural set plans, scripts, the studio's in-house research library collection), and the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Paramount: The most extensive institutional holdings from Paramount are housed at the Margaret Herrick Library, including production records, scripts, press sheets, and contract summaries. The studio also has an in-house archive not open to the public, including many musical scores.

Republic Pictures: Some archival materials available at USC.https://libraries.usc.edu/locations/special-collections

RKO: The RKO studio collection (1922-1956) is housed at UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections, including scores, daily production reports, story submission cards, payroll cards, scripts, and story synopses. Some specific collection information is available via a finding aid.

Sony: Sony also owns Columbia and Tristar. The studio has an in-house archive, and is not open to the public. UCLA houses some Columbia scripts.

20th Century Fox: Some archives are still located at the studio and are not open to the public, including many stills. The in-house working Fox Research Library is still open and may be available to serious researchers who call in advance; however, it does not collect the archives of the studio, instead serving the research needs of Fox employees. Some Fox production material (including scripts) is available at  UCLA and USC https://libraries.usc.edu/locations/special-collections, though restrictions apply for access to certain contents.

United Artists: Some UA archival records are located at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, including corporate ledgers.

Universal: The most extensive archives are located at the studio and in other remote locations, but are not open to the public. Some material is available at USC https://libraries.usc.edu/locations/special-collections, and the Margaret Herrick Library houses a collection of trailer scripts.

Warner Bros.: Most Warner Bros. archives are held at USC https://libraries.usc.edu/locations/special-collections, covering studio inception to 1968. Also includes the William Schaefer ledger, which covers film grosses from 1921-1967. Some materials (mostly scripts) are held at the University of Wisconsin, and

UCLA  https://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections houses some Warner Bros. silent film music scores.