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Archival Sources for Media Production

Guide to finding archival film, video, audio, and other material for creative re-use in media production, both within the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Archives and at other institutions. Includes information on understanding fair use and copy

Black and white photography of taxadermy sheep in a classroom. A 16mm motion picture film projector and tube television on an A/V cart sit nearby, with 16mm film and loose video tape strewn chaotically about the room.This guide provides a brief introduction to finding and accessing archival resources for re-use in media production - including photographs and images, audio recordings, film and video clips. 

The process of finding and accessing archival resources is not always easy, and it's important to understand some basics of copyright, fair use, public domain, and other legal restrictions when working with archival material. 

Navigate the tabs above for information on: 

  • The CU Boulder Archives' collections
  • Other archival institutions in the Front Range area
  • Online collections of archival recordings, footage, and images
  • Understanding fair use and copyright when re-using archival material in media production


Note: "Archival" material, in this guide, refers to content that was created for a specific original purpose and is now preserved in an archival repository for its value as historical evidence. This guide does not include sources for stock images or footage, music, or other Creative Commons material that was created for general re-use. See the link below for suggested sources of free-to-use stock media. 



Image credit: Don Novello, The Blade: Shellville High School (New York: Collier Books, 1984). 

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Special Collections & Archives

Call 303-492-6144


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B

Moving Image Archivist