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Motion Picture and Television Reading Room (Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division)
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Archival/Stock Footage

The Moving Image Section is often asked to provide stock shots for use in film and television productions. As an archive, we are primarily concerned with preserving our motion picture and television collections and making them available for serious research on our own premises. The majority of the films and videos in the Library of Congress are not available for duplication due to copyright and/or donor restrictions. Researchers are welcome to view copyrighted films at the Library to identify scenes of interest, but the copyright owner is usually the appropriate source for obtaining duplicate footage (see Purchasing Moving Image Material). In addition, most of the works in our collections have not been fully cataloged and are therefore accessible primarily by title. Our reference staff cannot undertake the required research for stock footage requests.

The most accessible collections of archival footage in the Library of Congress available for purchase include:

The American Memory Films

Over 700 historical films can be viewed online and downloaded at the American Memory website. Broadcast quality copies can be ordered through our Public Services Office Obtaining Copies of American Memory Film Collection Materials.

Turn-of-the-Century Film Collections

Historical films in our Paper Print, George Kleine, and Theodore Roosevelt collections include a wide variety of fiction and actuality films. Three book catalogs describing these films have been published, each with subject indexing (see citations below). While the book catalogs are out of print, you may be able to find copies in your local public or university library. The Kleine and Roosevelt films are also searchable in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. For information on duplication costs and procedures, contact our Public Services Office (telephone: 202-707-5623; fax: 202-707-2371).

Early Motion Pictures: The Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress by Kemp Niver (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1985).
- Describes approximately 3,000 films made between 1894 and 1915. Some libraries may only have the previous edition: Motion Pictures from the Library of Congress Paper Print Collection, 1894-1912" (Berkeley: University of California Press,1967).

The George Kleine Collection of Early Motion Pictures in the Library of Congress: A Catalog (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1980).
- Describes 456 motion pictures produced between 1898 and 1926.

The Theodore Roosevelt Association Film Collection: A Catalog (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1986).
- Describes 318 films relating to the life and career of Theodore Roosevelt.

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  August 31, 2010
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