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

The audiovisual section of the Bureau of Public Information (BPI/AUD) handles most of the audiovisual archives of UNESCO which includes films, videos and sound records.

Just some of these records are preserved by the UNESCO archives themselves.

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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Further accruals expected

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

For access to the film archives, please contact:

UNESCO, 7 Place de Fontenoy,
75007 PARIS, France
tel. +33 (0)

A small part of the film material is already accessible via the UNESCO Archives Multimedia Database. In the near future, many more films and videos will be integrated in the UNESCO Archives Multimedia Database.

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

Online search of a small part of the film material is possible via the UNESCO Archives Multimedia Database.

All other film material is indexed in an electronic database which is accessible at the Audiovisual Section of the Bureau of Public Information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Most of the original films are kept in the depots of the film archives which have been lately renovated following the rules for the preservation of audiovisual material.

More 2000 copies of films which had been produced before 1960on the easily inflammable cellulose nitrate material are kept by the National Centre of the French National Film Archives in Bois d’Arcy.

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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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




Accession area

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