Archive Rules

The Archive’s facility at the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study includes a fully-equipped access center where staff and visitors alike may schedule appointments for on-site viewing. Research conducted at the Archive has ranged from scholarly studies of early sound films to fact-checking for Oscar® preview issues of major entertainment magazines. Academy members, scholars, and the general public who have a legitimate research interest in materials held by the Academy may arrange viewing appointments through the Archive’s access center.

Please read the following access policies and procedures carefully before inquiring about a viewing appointment:

  • Moving image materials in the Archive’s collection are available for on-site viewing only at the Pickford Center facility. The Archive does not distribute reference copies of materials in the collection.
  • The Archive provides on-site access to past Academy Awards® show broadcasts and related footage. Questions about obtaining or licensing footage from previous Academy Awards show broadcasts should be directed to the Academy’s Legal Department at (310) 247-3000.
  • Researchers are welcome to use laptops or handheld computers as well as pen or pencil and paper for taking notes. However, cellular reception is poor in the access center, and making or taking cell phone calls while other patrons are present is prohibited. No personal recording equipment may be used at any time in the access center.
  • Food and drink, including water bottles, represent a potential hazard to materials and equipment and are not permitted in the access center.
  • Viewing appointments must be made a minimum of 36 hours in advance. Significantly longer lead times may apply for some requests. No walk-in visitors will be accommodated. All collection materials require a minimum of 24 hours for climatization before they may be made available for viewing in room-temperature viewing environments; in addition, most film materials require a general physical inspection and other preparations before they may be viewed.
  • Viewing appointments are booked on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be made as far in advance as possible. Researchers with limited schedules or those coming from out of town to view materials at the Archive are strongly advised to consult the access center and reserve viewing time before finalizing travel arrangements.
  • Access to materials held by the Archive is not guaranteed. Researchers may need to obtain advance written permission from donors or depositors for access to restricted collections. The Archive may also restrict access to materials at its discretion on the basis of physical condition, preservation status, or other considerations.
  • Every reasonable effort should be made by researchers to ascertain whether materials are available for viewing, rental, purchase, or loan through other outlets before requesting a viewing appointment at the Archive. The many college, university and public library collections in the Los Angeles area, as well as independent video stores, are good sources for foreign films, documentaries, short subjects, and other hard-to-find titles. Research appointments will not be made to show materials that are available through other means.
  • In some cases, the Archive is the sole repository for a unique film print or other copy. Under these circumstances, the Archive may restrict access to that material until a viewing copy can be made.
  • The Archive welcomes inquiries about the collection, but at this time most records are searchable by film title only. Researchers should accurately note the title(s) of interest and release year, plus additional information if known, to ensure the fastest possible reply. No online catalog of the Archive’s holdings is available to the public at this time.

To request information or schedule a viewing appointment via e-mail, please use the Viewing Request Form.

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