About Us

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)
is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley. One of the largest university art museums in the United States, in both size and attendance, BAM/PFA's diverse exhibition programs and collections are characterized by themes of artistic innovation, intellectual exploration, and social commentary, and reflect the central role of education in BAM/PFA's mission.

The Pacific Film Archive Library and Film Study Center
is one of the major film reference services in the country. In addition to providing access to the more than 10,000 films and videos in the PFA collection, the library also makes a wide range of film-related materials available to the public for research purposes. Its collections include over 7,600 books, 150 journal titles, 7,500 posters, 35,000 stills, and 1,500 audiotapes of filmmakers who have appeared at the Pacific Film Archive, as well as screenplays, international film festival programs, and distributors' catalogs. The library's largest and most heavily used collection comprises some 95,000 documentation files (with over 230,000 individual items) on filmmakers, performers, national cinemas, genres, and other topics.

In 1996, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, PFA initiated the CineFiles project to index and digitize materials from its documentation collection and make them freely available, with copyright holders' permissions, on the Internet.

Types of documents available on CineFiles include film reviews, interviews, popular and scholarly articles, publicity materials, program notes, book excerpts, pamphlets, filmmakers' texts and correspondence, and many other rare archival documents dating from the early 1900s to the present. Grant support has enabled the PFA Library to prioritize the indexing and scanning of documents on the films of more than 150 major international directors, materials describing silent Soviet cinema, and PFA's unique collection of exhibitor manuals.

The CineFiles film document image database now holds more than 50,000 documents on film history. In-depth indexing is available on the Web for most documents, and page images or links are freely available for over 90% of them. Page images for all documents can be viewed on site at the PFA Library or e-mailed on request; Please contact the PFA Library at cinefiles@berkeley.edu for more information.

Current Project
In 2006, the PFA Library received a three-year grant from IMLS to expand the scope of CineFiles. To date, CineFiles has mostly been used by students and scholars in Film Studies, but with IMLS support PFA is expanding the range of users to include students and educators in History and the Social Sciences, since these are the areas where audio-visual aids are most often used to enrich learning. The goal is to add another 15,000 documents that have direct relevance to History/Social Science education to the database, and to develop a portal on the site for educators. The redesign of the CineFiles website was also made possible through the IMLS grant.

If you are interested in seeing a title or director not currently represented within CineFiles, please send us an email. If we have any materials related to your interest in our files, we will prioritize the indexing and scanning of these documents.