San Francisco Cinematheque Digital Archives

Call for Collections!

Call for Collections! In maintaining and developing archival collections, San Francisco Cinematheque is dedicated to supporting academic and curatorial research into the field(s) of non-commercial artist-made cinema (as described above). Through its online collections and occasional exhibitions, Cinematheque’s Archives further its Mission to encourage appreciation of artist-made cinema across the broader cultural landscape. Though strongly associated with alternative film and art culture of the San Francisco Bay Area, Cinematheque’s programmatic and archival focus is international. San Francisco Cinematheque is happy to consider new donations that align with the focus of our collections. Cinematheque actively seeks donations of archival materials and collections in support of this Mission from film/video artists, curators, collectors and other members of our communities, from around the Bay to around the world. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, tax credit is available in exchange for donations. If you have materials that you would like to donate, please contact to open a discussion. Please do not mail (or drop off) unsolicited donations without first contacting us.

Materials sought include (but are by no means limited to) the following:

  • Personal Materials: Personal papers and records (in physical and digital formats) documenting the creative work and careers of independent/underground/experimental film/video artists and others working in the field (including writers, scholars and historians), including (for example) career documentation, personal correspondence and notes on films and filmmaking, material documenting exhibition history, writings (published and unpublished), course syllabi and the like. 
  • Organizational Records: Including memorabilia & ephemera documenting screenings, film/video artists, exhibiting organizations (including “underground” spaces, microcinemas and festivals dedicated to non-commercial artist-made film), independent film/video distributors and the like, for example flyers, calendars, posters, program notes and the like.
  • Books and Periodicals relevant to our field (including distribution catalogs, zines and other “micropublished” materials).
  • NOTE: Cinematheque actively seeks “full runs” (or even partial runs) of calendars, programs and other ephemera documenting the public exhibitions of film festivals, exhibition venues, screening series, microcinema spaces and the like dedicated to non-commercial artist-made film and video, which operate within our collection Mission. Holders of such material please be in touch!

The following material types fall outside of Cinematheque’s collection mandate and are specifically *NOT* sought:

  • Material (in any format) documenting the careers of filmmakers working within commercial narrative or traditional documentary modes of filmmaking.
  • Programs, posters, etc. documenting the exhibitions or operations of commercial movie theaters, festivals oriented around narrative cinema and the like.
  • Film & video media: Cinematheque does not have the institutional capacity to collect and care for film/video media.