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IWF Knowledge and Media

IWF Knowledge and Media offers more than 8700 media for research and teaching purposes within its standard distribution program, which can be fully researched using filmarchives online or the IWF online catalogue. These media are heavily oriented topically towards the natural sciences, but also contain significant sub-collections on ethnology, history and other social sciences. All modern offline media formats are fully supported; many titles are available under online as well.

In addition, some 2000 further titles are not made available in the framework of our regular distribution channels, but can be used or acquired in most cases upon request by persons having special interests.

It should be noted that the IWF is the last remaining complete Encyclopaedia Cinematographica archive in the world. The EC collection, which once boasted of five complete and eight partial archives on four continents, has a total holding of more than 3000 films. The EC’s aim was to create a comprehensive and systematic collection of motion studies, both natural and artificial. The EC philosophy was founded on the principle of the smallest thematical unit: one object and one type of motion which is characteristic of, or typical to, that object. The EC’s ultimate goal was to fill in a kind of matrix in which the one axis contained all beings or things which move and the other encompassed all of their characteristic motions types. This goal was never achieved, of course, but the result of the endeavour is still an impressive body of work. The EC collection has been closed since 1994.