The Academy Awards Collection

The Academy Film Archive holds the complete collection of every Academy Awards show since 1949. From 1949 to 1989, the show itself is the only item in the collection. Beginning in 1990 additional footage in the collection has increased. For recent Awards seasons, for example, the Archive not only holds the telecast as seen by viewers, but also footage of the nominations announcements, red carpet arrivals, backstage interviews with the winners, the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation, the Governors Ball, and other material covering the Awards season, from nominations announcement to post-ceremony events.

One of the lesser-known components of the Academy Awards Collection is the Scientific and Technical Awards. While most viewers only see a two-minute recap segment of these presentations during telecast, the Academy has been recording the Sci-Tech presentations in their entirety since the 61st Awards in March 1989. The honorees range from scientists who have made improvements in film stocks and camera lenses to technicians who have perfected fog machines, cool suits, bluescreen and computer technology, which have contributed to the process of making motion pictures.

The Academy Awards Collection also contains electronic press kits (EPKs) and their production materials. The Archive holds copies of EPKs produced for show publicity dating back to the 59th Awards (March 1987). These press kits include not only clips from the previous three telecasts and the trailer for the show, but also featurettes ranging from interviews with the show’s producer, director and host, to previews of the show’s set design and Governors Ball. In some cases, the Archive also holds the raw footage of interviews with show hosts such as Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres.

Additionally, the collection contains backstage interviews with winners, recorded just minutes after they have walked off the stage with their statuettes in hand. Viewers at home often get small excerpts from these interviews in news coverage, but the Archive has unedited tapes of many of them. For more recent years, tapes from the Nominees Luncheon, containing interviews with Acting and Directing nominees, have also been added to the collection.

Since the 1980s, the Academy has held a Foreign Language Film Award Nominees Symposium the day before the Awards show, taking advantage of the arrival of many talented foreign directors from overseas for the Academy Awards presentation. The Academy Awards Collection contains some tapes of this symposium, which feature clips from the year’s nominated foreign language films followed by a panel discussion with the directors of the films.

Oscar Legacy

Experience the history of the Academy Awards through video highlights, photos, fun facts and much more.


Academy Awards Clips

For selected clips from the Academy Awards, please visit the Academy’s Youtube page.

Oscar Channel on YouTube

Interesting Fact

The Academy Awards have been held annually since 1929, and the Academy Film Archive’s collection of complete shows begin with the 21st Awards in March 1949. The Margaret Herrick Library holds audio recordings of radio broadcasts from earlier ceremonies, as well as photographs and other paper materials. Small segments of Awards presentations prior to the 21st do exist in many newsreel collections, such as the Hearst collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

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