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UNESCO-produced films

The first documentary films produced by the organisation were published in the 1950s in order to show the activities of the organisation and to promote them to the external public. In 1958 a unit for radio and television production was established and started to broadcast regularly images taken on the occasion of official visits of state presidents, journeys of the Director General, inauguration etc.

UNESCO radio programme

The aim of UNESCO radio was to contribute to the understanding of the ideals that the Organization stands for, through discussion of issues in the field of education, science, culture and communication. Around fifteen 30-minute feature programmes were produced each year in at least three official languages of UNESCO, English, French, Spanish or Russian. Their subjects, chosen on the basis of their interest both for UNESCO and the general public, covered a vast field ranging from Aids to astronomy, from biodiversity to bioethics, from street children to indigenous peoples, from the violence of war to the culture of peace.
The recordings were offered on tape or cassette to over 400 national, public and community radios in all parts of the world (257 stations broadcasting in English, 60 in French, 60 in Spanish and 42 in Russian) as well as to international short-wave broadcasters.

Photo archives

The photo archives cover the period from the foundation of UNESCO until today and contain photographic material of all big events, conferences, meetings which include the participation of the Director General, visits of the important persons and missions of the Director General. They further contain pictures used for exhibitions or publications of UNESCO and material donated by other institutions, member States of delegations.

Film archives

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: archives@unesco.org

Audio archives

The sound records contain mostly sound recordings of conferences and other events, speeches of the Director General and other important persons, but also music recordings, interviews and the UNESCO radio programs.