Skip to Main Content

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

About the CU Boulder Archives

The Archives at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries has been collecting historical records for over 100 years. Found within our 1,700+ archival collections are an estimated 1 million photographs, 4750 reels of motion picture film, 4000 video cassettes, and 6000 audio tape recordings on a wide variety of topics. These materials include: 

  • Home movies
  • Educational films
  • Oral history interviews
  • Original research footage and recordings
  • Publicity films, advertisements, and PSAs
  • Documentary and experimental film production material 
  • Recorded events: lectures, performances, ceremonies, conferences, legal and governmental proceedings, etc. 

Collections within the CU Boulder Archives reflect our specialized collecting areas, including: 

  • Labor history
  • Colorado politics and politicians
  • Experimental film and video
  • History of natural science and the environment
  • Atomic West, nuclear production, and the anti-nuclear movement
  • Rocky Mountain counterculture and social change
  • History of the University of Colorado Boulder
  • Post Holocaust American Judaism/Innovations in Jewish Life
  • American Music Research Center

Searching the CU Boulder Archives

Our collections can be searched and browsed in a number of ways:

Access and use

Accessing media materials

If you identify CU Boulder Archives' material that you are interested in seeing, send an email to sca@colorado.edu with a list of desired items. 

Please note: Most material in the CU Boulder Archives has not yet been digitized. Due to preservation concerns, all analog sound recordings, video formats, and badly deteriorated film must be digitized prior to research access and use. If desired materials have not been previously digitized, the researcher may be responsible for the cost of digitization. Please contact sca@colorado.edu for more information. 

 

Copyright statement

The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries may not own copyright to all materials in the Archives' collections. Researchers and users are responsible for contacting copyright holder(s) and obtaining permission to publish or broadcast this material. Contact sca@colorado.edu for more information on identifying copyright holders. 

The University Libraries will not grant permission to publish or broadcast material for which they do not own copyright; the Libraries are not responsible for copyright violations resulting from publication or broadcast use. 

 

Licensing and fees

Use and licensing fees may be charged for the commercial use of material owned by the University of Colorado Boulder, including material produced by the Univeristy and material for which the original copyright was transferred to the University Libraries. This may include the commerical use of Archives' materials for advertising, radio or teleivison broadcast, online streaming, theaterical release or public screening, or DVD/Blu-ray release, if use of the material will result in commerical profit for the patron or a for-profit organization. Commercial use fees likely do not apply when the patron requesting the material is a K-12 or university student, faculty, or staff member who will be using the material for educational purposes, on behalf of a governmental or non-profit organization, or otherwise within Fair Use guidelines. Contact sca@colorado.edu for more information. 

Fall 2021: Libraries hours, service updates

All five campus libraries are now open. Read about open hours and other important service updates.

Rare and Distinctive Collections

rad@colorado.edu

Website

Classroom: Norlin M350B

Reading Room: Norlin E1B43