About the Yale Film Archive

The Yale Film Archive continues to support faculty and students, even though our space is temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19. DVDs, Blu-rays, VHS tapes, and screenplays can be requested for contactless pickup via Quicksearch or Orbis. Please contact us with any questions.

2021: a new year brings us a new headquarters—and a new name! From our inception in 1982, we were the Yale Film Study Center. We are now the Yale Film Archive, a name that better reflects our full range of activities, our recognition by the archival community, and our full commitment to upholding the standards and responsibilities of that community in caring for film at Yale.

The services, activities, and resources that students and faculty have long enjoyed from the Film Study Center will continue to be available under the Yale Film Archive, including the circulating video collection and the frequent use of film prints in classroom instruction and public exhibition.

Our mission is unchanged: the Yale Film Archive supports teaching, learning, and research, and fosters a robust film culture at Yale through collection, preservation, access, and exhibition.

We pursue our mission by building and maintaining a collection of media in a variety of film and video formats; providing on-site viewing facilities; supporting the use of film in teaching and learning through classroom showings and individual research; performing film conservation and preservation work; and presenting screenings and related events to the Yale community and the public.

An Associate of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the Yale Film Archive traces its roots to film collections at Yale dating back to the 1960s, including the historic archives of a number of prominent film collectors. We now have more than 7,000 film elements  in our film collection—including the archives of many prominent film collectors and hundreds of unique 35mm and 16mm prints and original negatives—and more than 50,000 assets in our video collection. We also have a small but growing screenplay collection.

Our collection development strategy is motivated by a desire to meet the teaching and learning needs of all Yale students and faculty working with film. We strive to expand and strengthen our robust general collection, which includes works across a wide range of genres and from over 160 countries, while also deepening the collection in key research areas in consultation with Yale faculty. We welcome purchase requests and inquiries about ways the Yale Film Archive can support individual research interests. Decisions regarding acquisitions are based primarily on academic needs, with priority given to current-year courses and active research projects.

The name change coincides with our move to a new home on the 7th floor of Sterling Memorial Library. The newly-renovated 3,200-square-foot space will offer ten updated viewing booths, a state-of-the-art screening room, and a film conservation suite with cold storage and flatbed film viewing stations. The Yale Film Archive also enjoys sweeping views of the campus, a convenient central location, and a closer connection to the resources of Sterling and Bass. Though the new space is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Yale Film Archive staff look forward to welcoming visitors next fall.

In the meantime, contact us with any questions.

Stay informed of our latest news by signing up for the Yale Film Archive Mailing List online (we're in the Libraries category) and by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Last modified: 
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 10:05am