How do I order copies of films/videos/digital files in the Library's collection?

As an archive, we are primarily concerned with preserving our moving image holdings and making them available for research on Library premises. Copies of films, videos and digital files in the Library’s collection can only be obtained if copyright, donor, and preservation restrictions allow.

As a general rule, to purchase a copy of a film made after January 1, 1925, a written permission from the copyright owner is required.  If ownership cannot be determined, the requestor will be asked to provide the Library with a copyright search report detailing the film’s current rights status.  Moving Image Research Center reference staff can provide guidance on how this may be arranged.

In addition to copyright, many donors place restrictions on the use of the materials they give to the Library. Where such circumstances exist, written permission will be required as well

The physical condition of the source material can also impact our ability to provide copies of collection items.  For example, duplicating a film reel with significant damage often requires extensive, time-consuming and costly restoration work which we might not have the resources to undertake.

If the conditions outlined above are met, an order can be placed with the moving image reference staff.  The cost will be determined by the format of the source material and the format the requestor wishes to obtain.  Please see for the current rates and formats list.

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2020
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We cannot provide subject research for stock footage or copying of most of the films and videos in our collection.

Additional Ways to Contact Us

Please send written correspondence to:

Moving Image Research Center
101 Independence Ave. SE
James Madison Building, LM 336
Washington, D.C. 20540-4690