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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Brief answers to frequently asked questions about searching, finding and obtaining films on filmarchives online.

Searching Films

There are so many films from so many archives on your website. What is the repertory actually consisting of?

The filmarchives online database focuses on non-fiction-material, i.e. documentary and educational film, newsreels, travelogues, commercial advertising, scientific, industrial, experimental, sports as well as animation films. Most contributing archives explain about the collections they made available for filmarchives online here: Collection Descriptions.

My search results list is much too long. How can I get a more concise result?

All search terms entered in the simple search field are linked by the operator "OR" automatically. You can get a more concise search result by using the operator "AND" or by specifying your query by help of the advanced search. The more detailed your query, the more precise the results will be. For example, you can combine several search terms with "AND" or search just in specific categories (e.g. only silent films or only the holdings of one specific archive).

I am searching by keywords (using the advanced search). Why are there no films from (for example) DIF in the search results?

The information on filmarchives online is coming from various film archives and is differing in several details. For example, not all institutions list keywords or depicted persons. You can find a tabularly outline of which details are provided by each archive here: Cataloguing Specifications

I am interested in feature films. Why do I hardly get any results?

The focus of filmarchives online is on non-fiction material; i.e. documentary and educational films, newsreels, travelogue, advertising, scientific, industrial, experimental, sports films, as well as animation films. There are feature films on filmarchives online, however, this is just a very small part of the collection.

I would like to access filmarchives online from the search bar in my web browser. Is this possible?

Sure! Just install our search plugin.

Finding Films

Occasionally I find images and videos on filmarchives online. Why are digitised materials not available for every film?

The core function of filmarchives online is to help locate film copies in European archives. Some archives supplement selected catalogue information with images or videos. However, this is not the rule. A web portal providing digitised materials from European archives is currently in development: The European Film Gateway.

Where are the videos? Do you provide an overview of all films available for viewing online?

Yes. You can find it here: Films available online.

Is there an overview of all films with image galleries?

No. There are thousands of images supplementing data on filmarchives online, and the number is constantly growing.

I found an error in filmographic data / in a content description. Who should I contact regarding the quality of information?

The participating film archives contribute, enrich and supplement information from their local archive databases to filmarchives online independently and on their own responsibility. If you have any queries or annotations regarding information on films found on filmarchives online, please consult our contact section and directly address the archive that holds the film copy.

Obtaining Films

I found a film I would like to see. Is this possible?

Yes. If you are interested in viewing, licensing, or purchasing a film copy, just click the "Obtain Copy" button to find contact information of the relevant archive.

Navigating filmarchives online

I like to surf filmarchives online in French. Why are there English texts, even when I choose the French language version?

Please note that only the core parts of filmarchives online are available in eight languages. Content descriptions are usually available in English as well as in one further language.

Contributing Films

I would like to make my archival film collection accessible on filmarchives online. Is this possible?

In general: Yes. However, there are technical, organisational and other questions to discuss. Please consult our Contribute section and get in touch with us.

Anything else

Do I have to pay for services offered on the web portal? Who is behind filmarchives online?

Using filmarchives online is free. The web portal is the result of the MIDAS project (Moving Image Database for Access and Re-use of European Film Collections). MIDAS has been initiated in 2006 as a pilot project in the MEDIA Plus programme ofthe European Commission. It ran for three years and was carried out by 18 institutions dedicated to collecting and preserving film heritage in Europe. MIDAS was coordinated by the Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF. If you find a film on filmarchives online that interests you, please directly contact the archive that holds the respective copy as there is no central contact point for copy requests.

Which archives do participate in filmarchives online?

Please consult our Partners section.

This does not answer my questions. I want to talk to somebody personally.

Sure. You can our contact information here: Contact.