Harvard Film Archive

The Harvard Film Archive is one of the largest and most significant university-based motion picture collections in the United States, housing 36,000+ motion picture titles from around the world and from almost every period in film history. Collection strengths lie in national cinemas, including films from the U.S., France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Taiwan, and Argentina; American studio and independent features; American, European, and Japanese experimental film; experimental animation; ethnographic film; short and feature documentary; and diary film. In addition to feature films and art films, the collection contains many examples of non-theatrical, or "useful" cinema, which covers a range of motion picture history outside the classic category of theatrical fiction film, such as educational and industrial shorts on many topics, home movies, newsreels, and government films. Non-moving image collections include a wide range of promotional materials including film stills, posters, and other flat graphics, as well as a number of manuscript collections documenting the work of individual filmmakers such as Godfrey Reggio, Anne Charlotte Robertson, Warren Sonbert, Hollis Frampton, Robert Gardner, Suzan Pitt, and Caroline Leaf.

Archive staff can host small classes on-site for tours, and are also available to attend classes to discuss the use of audiovisual archival materials at Harvard and how to find, request, and use material from the Harvard Film Archive collections. 16mm portable projectors and films from the collection can also be brought to classrooms on campus for screenings of selections from the collections. For requests to use the HFA theater or screen material outside of the HFA's collections, please do not use this class request tool.



Staff Services

  • Assistance with presentation of materials in class
  • Assistance with selection of materials
  • Tour
  • Pre-class appointment for instructor (required for first time requester, recommended for everyone)
  • Ongoing reference assistance for students interested in using collections for course assignments
  • Introduction to Archives and Special Collections Research

Technology Available

  • Computer and data projector
  • DVD player
  • Wifi

Administrative Information

  Class limit: 10

The Harvard Film Archive does not have a publicly available calendar. When making a request, please submit with your preferred times and a staff member will get back to you.