Level of description
Extent and medium
12,500 film cans; 9,000 video tapes; 29,000 35mm colour slides; 140,000 black and white 35mm negatives; 1,000 colour 35mm negatives; 15,000 duplicate colour slides; over 30.000 radio tapes.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Unesco's historical audiovisual collection was kept by the Division of Public Information until 2015, when the collection was transferred to the care of the Unesco Archives.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The photo and audiovisual archives consist of analogue and digital records dating from 1945 up until the present day.
Photographs: 140,000 black and white negatives; 1,000 colour 35mm négatives; 29,000 35mm colour slides; 15,000 duplicate cover slides; photographic prings, 1945 to the present.
Films: 12,500 cans, containing over 1,000 titles, 1951 onwards.
Audio reels: 30,000 audio recordings, including UNESCO Radio reports and interviews, and event and programme recordings, 1940s to 1980s.
Video tapes: 5,000 tapes, corresponding to 2,500 titles, 1983 onwards.
A part of Unesco's film and sound recordings, documenting Unesco events and meetings since 1945, are kept in the Unesco Phonothèque of the Sound and Telephone unit.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
In 2018, the Unesco Archives launched a two-year digitization project, funded by member state Japan. As part of the project, 5,000 photographs, 45 hours of 16mm film (100 film titles); 30 hours of video programmes from the 1980s on UMATIC cassettes; and 20,000 audio recordings are being digitized. As they become available, the digitized collections are accessible on the Digitizing Our Shared UNESCO History website until the end of 2019.
A growing amount of the film and audio material kept by the UNESCO Archives is accessible via the UNESCO Archives Multimedia website.
Part of the photography holdings are accessible online via the UNESCO photobank.
Other film, photo and audio material is accessible upon request at: email@example.com
Please see sub-fonds for further information.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
See under each series for a list of finding aids related to UNESCO film, audio, or photo archives.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Created by Julia Pohle, September 2009. Revised AWT 9 March 2011. Updated by Eng Sengsavang, 5 August 2019.