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Appointments are optional, but encouraged. To help us better serve you, request a research appointment to ensure collection material is accessible during your visit at the Library. The Library of Congress asks all visitors to follow our COVID-19 health screening protocols , which are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of the Attending Physician of the U.S. Capitol. For additional instructions, see the Researcher Scheduling page.
About the Collections
Research, Reference & Policies
Digital Collections & Online Resources
Screen shot from "Women in the News" (All American News, Inc., 1950). Available for online viewing in the
National Screening Room
What's New: The National Screening Room
Now See Hear! The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center Blog
The National Film Registry
What's New: American Archive of Public Broadcasting
101 Independence Ave. SE
James Madison Building, LM 336
Washington, D.C. 20540-4690
Weekdays, 8:30am to 5:00pm
Closed Weekends &
to ask the reference staff a question about motion picture and
Viewers are advised to contact the Moving Image Research Center two weeks prior to visiting the Library.
- The majority of our moving images are stored offsite and researchers must schedule a viewing appointment at least two weeks in advance
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 the collection of the films themselves; from 1949 on these included films made for television. Today the
National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC)
is responsibile for the acquisition, cataloging and preservation
of the Library's motion picture and television collections. The Moving Image Research Center to provides
access and information services to an international community of
film and television professionals, archivists, scholars and researchers. Our holdings complement the audio recordings served in the Recorded Sound Research Center.