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Director Raoul Walsh teaches a lion about film (from Présence du Cinema, May 1962).

We’re moving! The PFA Library and Film Study Center will be closed as of December 18, 2014, in preparation for our move to our new downtown location, which opens in early 2016. During our closure, we recommend you consult your local public library, the UC Berkeley Library or the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles ((310) 247-3020) for film research assistance.

For library-related questions not addressed here, please call the PFA Library at (510) 642-1437.

For general questions about BAM/PFA, please see the
BAM/PFA FAQ.



How do I find out what your archive has?
Search the PFA Film and Video Collection catalog.
Search the PFA Library book catalog.
Or call the library at (510) 642-1437.

I saw a great film at your theater the other night. Can I stop by and watch it?
Only a small percentage of the films shown in PFA’s film exhibition program are from the PFA collection; most come from distributors or other archives. Contact the library or search the film collection database to find out if PFA has a particular film, or for help locating another source for the title you’re interested in.

I’m working on a documentary film and am looking for some stock footage. Do you have any, and can I use it?
The PFA collection is intended for research viewing use and is not set up to supply stock footage. The library can help you locate stock footage sources, or visit http://www.footage.net for more information on stock footage companies.

I just noticed you have this film. Can I make a copy, or borrow it?
Due to copyright restrictions, film and video from the PFA collection may not be reproduced, and it is not our policy to loan films. The PFA Library may be able to help you find other sources for a particular film, however.

I’m working on a film. Do you have any tips?
The PFA Library has many books on shooting, producing, editing, and funding films, as well as many reference materials on Bay Area film resources and companies.

Can I check out books from the PFA Library?
All materials in the PFA Library are non-circulating and cannot be checked out. Xerox machines are available to make copies at a cost of 10 cents per page, or 25 cents per page for 11” x 17” copies.

I’m publishing a book, and would like to reproduce one of your stills. Can I?
The PFA Library does not own the reproduction rights to its stills. PFA will duplicate stills for private research use within the parameters of the Fair Use clause of the U.S. Copyright Act; contact library staff for more information. Fees are charged for this service, and requests must be made three weeks in advance. It is up to the researcher to clear use rights with the original copyright holders.

Can you help me find out some information about a film, i.e. if a movie’s available, who was in it, etc.?
Yes. Please call the library or stop by, and the staff will be happy to assist you. Library hours are Monday-Wednesday, 1-5 p.m.

I’m interested in film archives. How can I learn more about them?
Contact the library to find out more about archives and archiving, or visit websites such as the Association of Moving Image Archivists or the International Federation of Film Archives. For a list of links to websites of film archives and research centers around the world, visit the helpful Library of Congress site at http://lcweb.loc.gov/film/arch.html.

Do you have any jobs or volunteer opportunities in the library?
The PFA Library works closely with volunteers, who help with gathering film-related materials and maintaining the library collection. Contact Jason Sanders at jsand@berkeley.edu to sign up for the next volunteer training session. Open staff positions at BAM/PFA are posted on the University of California, Berkeley website; visit the BAM/PFA Jobs page for more information.

I’ve got some books and films I’d like to give to PFA. Do you buy materials, or take donations?
While PFA cannot purchase collections due to budget constraints, we are happy to accept donations; a large portion of our holdings comes from patrons’ contributions. Please see the Donating Art & Film page for information.