Moving Image Archive

The Moving Image Archive is Scotland's national collection of moving image and is held at the National Library. You can watch over 1,900 clips and full-length films from the collection on the Moving Image Archive catalogue.


1940s film still of man holding a film camera
Watch 'Amateur Cinematography' (1948) in the
moving image catalogue.


Film still showing trams in Glasgow
'Glasgow Trams' (1960)
via the online catalogue.

The National Library of Scotland collects, preserves and promotes access to films capturing Scotland and her people, from the early days of film-making to the present day.

In the Moving Image Archive you will discover over 46,000 items including film cans, videotapes and digital files.

Many of our items are unique and you cannot see them elsewhere. Our collections are largely non-fiction and reflect:

  • Scottish social, cultural and industrial history
  • The lives of ordinary Scots across the generations
  • The achievements of Scottish film-makers in the craft of film production.

The types of film we hold include:

  • Documentaries
  • Educational and public information films
  • Home movies and amateur films
  • Advertising and promotional films
  • Cinema newsreels
  • Scottish regional television broadcasts
  • Gaelic television broadcasts
  • Scottish funded short films and features.

The collection represents a wide range of subjects, such as:

  • Work and industry
  • Home life
  • Leisure, travel and holidays
  • Sport and entertainment
  • Local traditions and community events
  • Transport
  • Changing landscapes and new towns
  • Wartime.


Written archives and reference library

Manuscript, printed material and memorabilia relating to the history of film-making and the cinema-going business in Scotland since 1896 are also part of the Moving Image Archive.

If you are researching the history of film-making and cinema in Scotland, these written archives are an ideal resource.

Researchers need to contact us to make an appointment to consult the written archives and the reference library collections. More information for researchers


Gaelic broadcasts

Since 1993 and with funding from MG Alba we preserve all Gaelic language productions funded wholly or in part by that organisation and its predecessors.

The Copyright Act allows us to record television programmes off-air for access purposes and we hold a comprehensive library of Gaelic television output since January 1994.

Contact us to find out more about these Gaelic broadcasts.



We acquire, preserve and catalogue collections according to International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) rules, standards and best practice guidelines.

We are a member of several sector organisations:



National Library staff regularly take part in film-related projects with a wide range of partners. including universities, schools, colleges, cinemas, community groups, television companies and other UK film archive initiatives.

Among our projects are:


National Library collections overview