About the Library

* 77 years (1943-2020)

The NFA library has been for seventy years the natural gathering centre of the intellectual film community. Together with students, its users have always been important personalities in the field of cinema: filmmakers, historians, critics, journalists, educators, writers, curators. Its rich collections contain sources from the beginning of cinema of international relevance, undamaged in World War II and it is used by scholars not only from Europe, but also from all over the world.

It is encouraging to see the increasing number of visitors to the original NFA sources, namely the on-line catalogue and the NFA digital library. In 2017, these sources were used by 40,000 visitors. The on-line catalogue is widely popular for its comprehensive bibliographic records with annotations and factual descriptions from the film perspective. In the catalogue you can search for text documents about more than 37,000 films, 49,000 personal data, 6,200 events, and 7,000 corporations.

The library team of 10 people pays great attention to the quality of the collection and a personal approach to users. The family-like milieu of the study room creates an informal atmosphere among the librarians and the users. Informed readers know that the internet search engine displays 100,000 answers to one question, but the librarian gives the correct answer. In 2016, 2,000 visitors benefited from such personal contact.

Caring for the collection along with services is one of the priorities of our library. In a new digital format we have managed to make public most of the film industry periodicals published in what is now the Czech Republic during the last century. The digital NFA library offers 155 Czech film periodical titles from the years 1911 to 2016 with full-text search to the extent of 25,000 issues. The periodicals were originally published on printed media and simultaneously digitised to microfilms that prolong their lifespan by at least another hundred years and fulfil an important archival function.

In 2004, the NFA project ‘Internet information resources for research in the field of film’ improved the conditions for scientific and research work with on-line access to key bibliographic and factual databases of prestigious film institutions. The launch of the four-year project created the conditions for follow-up projects, strengthening the information infrastructure of film studies in Czech film schools. For ten years, a new generation of people interested in cinema has had access to licensed databases from abroad with content that is not normally available on the Internet. The NFA users gain access to these resources through their reader’s account as an added bonus to the services provided and can study remotely from the comfort of their homes or colleges whenever they want.

The film library acquires, processes, preserves and gives access to Czech and selected foreign literature and film-related periodicals and represents the broadest information base in this field in the country. With its collection of 390,000 pages the NFA digital library ranks among the largest digital libraries in the Czech Republic.

The NFA regularly informs about the latest additions to its library through the periodical Illuminace (published 4 times a year).

Currently, a retrospective descriptive and subject cataloguing of the book collection is in progress, including serials (16% remains to be processed). The collection of offprints of personalities, films and periodicals, and a collection of scripts has been processed to 100%. Our goal is to publish information about the entire library collection online.

The library also participates in the NFA’s publishing projects, such as the Film Yearbook (film publications and periodicals), Czech feature films from 1898 to 1993 (awards, sources, responses, literature) and Czech animated films from 1920 to 1945 (literature, sources).