Magazine article Journal of Film Preservation

Brief Description of the National Archive of Brazil and Its Filmographic Collection

Magazine article Journal of Film Preservation

Brief Description of the National Archive of Brazil and Its Filmographic Collection

Article excerpt

News from Archives

Nouvelles des archives

Noticias de archivos

The National Archive of Brazil (Arquivo Nacional) is a federal institution responsible for the safeguarding, preservation, and distribution of the Brazilian documentary patrimony. Our institution was created in 1824, just about 70 years before the invention of the cinema. However, we only initiated the organization and preservation of our filmographie documents in 1980. From that point on, an intense programme of adaptation was implemented step by step: the survey of the conditions of conservation, the improvement of climate-controlled vaults, the planning of future actions of recovery, the substitution of old cans for new ones designed for long-term storage, etc.

The process of incorporation of our film collection can be highlighted by two historical moments. The first one took place in the 1980s, when an independent section was created to take care of our filmo- graphie material. The second moment was in August 2002,when we received approximately 45,000 reels of films of the private collection of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro MAM Rio). In that collection is represented some of the basic elements of Brazil's national identity: the daily life of our cities, urban development, our politics, economy, arts, sports, and fashion. We also have many films produced by the Federal Government of Brazil, including educational films, propaganda films, and film cuts made by censors during the military dictatorship period.

Today we have almost 100,000 reels totaling 30,000 titles, of cinema newsreels (42%), fiction films (40%), and documentary films (18%). In addition, we also have 12,000 videotapes. Our collection is always growing, and the National Archive of Brazil holds about 35% of Brazil's cinema production, dating from 1949 to the present day, mostly in master copies.

The National Archive of Brazil film collection is frequently consulted by academic researchers, movie directors, public and private TV producers, journalists, and students. In fact, Brazil is undergoing a period of intense valorization of its cinema history. Along these lines, the National Archive of Brazil promotes the Recine, an annual festival of archive films.

As a restoration guideline, the institution has adopted a policy of duplication in order to replace spoiled supports for new copies. …

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