The Moving Image Archive is Scotland's national collection of moving image and is held at the National Library. You can watch over 3,000 clips and full-length films from the collection on the Moving Image Archive 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:
- 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
- Changing landscapes and new towns
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
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:
- Film Archives UK (FAUK)
- International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT IFTA)
- International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)
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:
- 'Living Proof – A Climate Story' — a feature-length archive film made in partnership with Film Hub Scotland which uses films from the collection to examine Scotland's relationship to the roots of the climate crisis
- 'From Scotland with Love' — a feature-length archive film directed by Virginia Heath with transcendent musical score by King Creosote. The Library acted as co-producer, with over 100 films from the collection featured in this stunning film
- 'Unlocking Film Heritage' — a British Film Institute project to digitise and provide access to unseen content. For example, see 'Peddler's Progress' on the BFI Player
- 'Children and Amateur Media in Scotland' and Early cinema in Scotland — two projects with University of Glasgow (funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council).