Over 7,000 items, comprising of almost 3,000,000 feet of original cine film and 1000 hours of original video, are held in the film collection, covering all aspects of Australian involvement in war and armed conflict.

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About

The official war photographers in action at night, with flashes of light on the horizon indicating a battle is taking place. Photographer Frank Hurley is at the camera with sound man Alan Anderson crouched on the sand recording the sound of the bombardment on 30 January 1941.005655The official war photographers in action at night, with flashes of light on the horizon indicating a battle is taking place. Photographer Frank Hurley is at the camera with sound man Alan Anderson crouched on the sand recording the sound of the bombardment on 30 January 1941.005655

Film donations are received from a range of donors, from amateur film makers to documentary companies. Much material has been acquired from the Australian Department of Defence, or via fee waiver agreements. Film material commissioned by the Memorial has recently increased the amount of contemporary, quality material to the National Collection.

The film and video collection includes video oral histories, film commissions such as Official Cinematographer Rob Nugent to Iraq and Timor, purchases of the work of David Dare Parker, John Martinkus, Gary Ramage, Stephen Dupont and George Gittoes, and interviews from documentaries, obtained via fee waiver arrangement – for example Debt of Honour [East Timor], The Minefield [Vietnam], Beyond Kokoda [WW2], Black Knight [WW2].  The senior curator for Film and Sound travelled to Afghanistan in 2011 and recorded fifty interviews in video and audio. Donations from private individuals form a valuable part of the collection, from the home movies of WW2 and Vietnam veterans, to 80 hours of digital video shot by remote camera during the discovery of the HMAS Sydney off the coast of Western Australia.  Sydney was lost on 19 November 1941 with no survivors from the crew of 645. Recent acquisitions have also included footage shot by ADF members during their deployment, either as part of a Memorial video diary project or as their own personal record of deployment.

Film collections are stored in climate controlled vaults. Original film and video is preserved to film, digital tape or digital file, depending on the format of the original. Digital copies and born digital items are stored in a Digital Assets Management System.

See selected footage from the collection on our YouTube channel.  Look up "Film collection online" or "Sound collection online"

See also: Afghanistan: the Australian experience - Tarin Kot

Access

About 5,000 film titles are available to the public for viewing in the Research Centre or online. You can search for films, and audio, in the Collection . Time-coded copies may be purchased, subject to copyright approval. A fee is charged for commercial use. For more information please see How to order photos, art, fim & sound.

To make a film or video donation offer, email filmsound@awm.gov.au