Collection - Film archives

Identity area

Reference code


Film archives


  • 1946- (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

12,500 film cans; 8,000 video tapes

Context area


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Unesco Division of Public Information

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The film archives of UNESCO are divided into three parts:

  • The archives of film productions, containing about 7500 film cans of material produced by UNESCO itself.

  • The archives of reference films, containing about 1100 works which not have been produced by UNESCO itself but have been given to the organisation by NGOs, foreign film producers or member states.

  • The archives of distributed films, containing around 2500 copies of 210 films. These films have been produced by the organisation and concern different programmes or projects.

Online search of a portion of Unesco film material is possible via: UNESCO Archives Multimedia Database. Digitizing Our Shared Unesco History

All other film material is indexed in an electronic database, originally created and maintained by the Division of Public Information.

For questions regarding access to the film archives, or to request a search for film titles in the electronic database, please contact:

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Further accruals expected

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction for some film material possible upon request.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

1945-1988 film material
1988-1988 3/4 Inch (BVU, Umatic)

Finding aids

AG 12/1: UNESCO film reference library catalogues, 1953, 1958, 1973-1974 and 1973-1980, 1989

AG 12/1: Catalogues of short films amd filmstrips; selected list

AG 12/1: UNESCO films 16 mm, 1975

AG 12/1: UNESCO Catalogue: photos, films, filmstrips, 1974

AG 12/1: Films of the UN Family: Catalogue of films on international development, 1973

AG 12/1: Films of the UN Family: 16 mm. Catalogue, 1980-1981

AG 12/1: UNESCO Film and video catalogue, 1987-1988

AG 12/1: UNESCO video catalogue, 1992

AG 12/1: Unesco: television video catalogue

AG 12/1: Unesco: video programmes (VHS)

AG 12/1: Bureau of Public Information (BPI): indexes on cards to films, 1945-

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The majority of the film collection is kept in a film depot in Unesco headquarters, Paris.

Copies of Unesco films produced before 1960 on the easily inflammable cellulose nitrate are kept by the National Centre of the French National Film Archives, Bois d’Arcy.

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

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Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by Julia Pohle, August 2009. Updated by Eng Sengsavang, 23 August 2019.




Accession area

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