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Collection Policy

What We Collect

The Archive primarily collects moving images produced and distributed in the United States, with a secondary emphasis on materials produced and distributed internationally. Types of works collected include newsreels, motion pictures, television programs and streaming productions originating from national, state and local institutions, commercial entities, independent artists and companies, and students and amateur filmmakers. Holdings deemed of artistic, cultural, historic and/or socio-political significance are prioritized for collection. Works illuminating social justice themes, and the diverse histories, cultures, communities and peoples of UCLA, Los Angeles, and the broader Southern California region are also prioritized for collection.

Physical Formats Collected

Where possible, the Archive seeks to collect materials in the master format in which they were originally produced, including, 35mm, 16mm and 8mm film prints, 2 in. videoreels and all other magnetic media formats, and born-digital formats. Where original formats are not available, derivative elements are collected on a case-by-case basis.

Conservation and Preservation

The Archive conserves celluloid and magnetic media holdings in secure, humidity and temperature-controlled vaults specifically designed for their respective formats and conservation criteria. Nitrate film holdings are held in state-of-the-art vaults specifically designed for that format. Digital files are preserved to redundant LTO tape.

As external grant funding and resources permit, the Archive undertakes specific 35mm and 16mm photochemical or digital preservation projects to create new elements for longevity and public exhibition. Preservation projects may employ a hybrid of photochemical and digital technologies. Ongoing in-house digitization of celluloid and magnetic holdings for preservation and access purposes is augmented by external work done with qualified vendors on a per-project basis.


Collection holdings records are searchable in UC Library Search, a free online public access catalog accessible on the Internet. As condition allows, holdings may be requested by academics, students, researchers and the general public for on-site viewing by appointment through the Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC) located on the UCLA campus. Where rights permit, select holdings are made available for viewing online via the Archive’s website. Through an active loan program, select holdings are available for formal loan for public exhibition at qualified venues that obtain proper rightsholder clearances. Select collection holdings and excerpts are also made available for release to home video and streaming platforms, and for use in productions, provided that rightsholder clearances are obtained.

Items Outside of Collection Scope

The UCLA Film & Television Archive does not collect artifacts, papers, scripts or stills, as those materials are collected by our partners in UCLA Library Performing Arts Special Collections.

In general, with exceptions, the Archive no longer collects the following types and formats of moving images: 16mm educational or “classroom” films, trims and outs, incomplete or unconformed production elements, titles held on obsolete home video formats such as commercially-released VHS or laser discs, or material recorded off-the-air on VHS.

Deaccessioning Collection Materials

Strict protection protocols are adhered to before materials are deaccessioned for any reason. These protocols include placing duplicates with affiliated archives and/or duplicating material at the highest quality possible for retention before deaccession. Duplicative titles in poor condition found not to be of archival value may be discarded after careful consultation with the Archive staff and external archival stakeholders.


The UCLA Film & Television Archive, a division of the UCLA Library, is a non-profit organization supported by grants, donations, sales and services, and funding provided by the University of California, Los Angeles. As such, the UCLA Film & Television Archive is accountable to UCLA Library Administration, external grant agencies and funders, donors and depositors, the University of California Board of Regents, and the people of the State of California.

Policy v.07.2022

This policy is reviewed annually by the Archive Director and Archive Curators to ensure mission critical preservation protocols are up-to-date and that constituent needs are being met.

A more comprehensive version of this Collection Policy is available for review by email request.