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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

When your media project is complete, it is important to properly credit the original creators of archival media you use, as well as the archival institution that provided the material. For class assignments, ask your instructor if they have a preferred method for writing credits and citations.

The chart below offers some suggestions for how to credit archival material in a film. These suggestions do not constitute legal advice. For broader screening or distribution of your film, you may want to consult with a legal expert.

Type of archival source Suggested credit

A published property, which you received license or permission to use

Archival footage from: Title (director or production company, date), used with permission by [production company or copyright holder]

Example:

Archival footage from: The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980), used with permission by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

A published property, used according to Fair Use guidelines (which do not require license or permission from the copyright holder)

Archival footage from: Title (director, date), from [archives who provided the footage, if applicable]

Example:

Archival footage from: Our Common Enemy: The Fly (Pathé, 1921), from the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Archives

An unpublished property from an archival institution, for which no creator or publication information is known

Archival footage from: [Name of collection], [name of archives who provided the footage]

Example: 

Archival footage from: Ira Current collection, Univeristy of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Archives

An unpublished property from an archival institution, used with permission of the creator or copyright holder

Archival footage from: [Name of collection], [archives who provided the footage], used with permission by [copyright holder]

Example:

Archival footage from: Leroy H. Miller collection, Univeristy of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Archives, used with permission by the Miller family

 Archival material received directly from the creator or copyright holder

Archival footage provided by [name of creator]

Example: 

Archival footage provided by the Kennedy family

Material made available with a Creative Commons license

Includes footage from Title, by [creator], licensed by [type of CC license]

Example:

Includes footage from Happy dog fun by Michael Goergens, licensed under CC BY 2.0

When in doubt, ask the copyright holder or archival institution how they would prefer to be credited. 

Note: It is usually not necessary to include on-screen text that identifies the source of archival footage as it appears in the film, unless requested by your instructor. The end credits should always identify the source of archival material.

Additional resources: 

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Rare and Distinctive Collections

rad@colorado.edu

Website

Classroom: Norlin M350B

Reading Room: Norlin E1B43