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Research Center Moving Image Research Center

About this Research Center

The Moving Image Research Center provides access and information services to an international community of film and television professionals, archivists, scholars, and researchers. The Library of Congress began collecting motion pictures in 1893 when Thomas Edison and his brilliant assistant W.K.L. Dickson deposited the Edison Kinetoscopic Records for copyright. However, because of the difficulty of safely storing the flammable nitrate film used at the time, the Library retained only the descriptive material relating to motion pictures. In 1942, recognizing the importance of motion pictures and the need to preserve them as a historical record, the Library began collecting the films themselves; from 1949 on these also included films made for television. Today the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC) holds approximately 1.9 million items and is responsible for the acquisition, cataloging and preservation of the Library's motion picture and television collections. The holdings complement the video recordings of the American Folklife Center, and the sound recordings served in the Recorded Sound Research Center.

Because most collections are stored offsite, researchers will need to schedule an appointment to access materials.


Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
James Madison Building, LM 336
Moving Image Research Center
Washington, DC 20540-4810
View map External link


Public Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays & Federal Holidays