Research Collections

Students have access to the vast moving image, photography, and technologu collections of the George Eastman Museum for use in scholarly research. In addition to holding one of the largest archival film collections in North America, the motion picture department also contains more than 3.5 million paper items, including production stills, scripts, posters, and other ephemera available to students.

Books on film history and preservation are loaned to each student for the duration of the academic year. These books are also available for purchase at a discounted price in the museum store. Handouts will also be provided.

Video and Audio Resources

Many lectures held at the school have been recorded and are available to students through arrangement with the school administrator. The video archive includes recordings of conferences, seminars, workshops, and symposia related to motion picture preservation. A searchable database has been created for the collection of more than 650 titles. In certain cases, special screenings of these tapes are organized during plenary sessions. Videotapes are not available for loan and may not be duplicated or made available outside the museum. The motion picture department also holds a wide range of audio materials. These include more than 70 one quarter inch, reel-to-reel audio interviews conducted with famous directors, actors, and film industry professionals by George Pratt. The department also preserves collections of audio materials relating to Burton Holmes and James Sibley Watson Jr., and more than 250 musical audiotapes produced by James Card to accompany silent movies.

Digital Restoration Lab

In 2003, the George Eastman Museum announced the creation of a state-of-the-art digital motion picture restoration laboratory. Housed in the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, the digital laboratory, the first of its kind in North America, has become an integral part of the restoration work done at the George Eastman Museum and a key instructional component in the curriculum of the Selznick School. The installation of this digital facility was made possible by Haghefilm Laboratories, which is currently involved in several major restoration projects with the Eastman Museum and is a longtime supporter of the Selznick School.

The Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center

The museum's storage facilities for nitrate era films are among the best in the nation. These nitrate vaults are located near Rochester in the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center. This facility (with a constant temperature of 40°F [4.4°C] and 30% relative humidity) consists of twelve vaults comprising a total capacity of more than 26 million feet of nitrate film. Climate control is regulated electronically and monitored through a computer system in the museum's main building.

The Moving Image Archives

Safety film preservation masters and research access copies are stored in the 1989 building of the George Eastman Museum in vaults that are maintained at 40°F (4.4°C) and 30% relative humidity. The total capacity of these vaults is more than 100 million feet of film. Another vault is dedicated to paper-based collections, which includes movie stills, posters, scripts, film scores, correspondence, ephemera, pre-cinema artifacts, and other film-related papers.

The Moving Image Study Center

Located in the museum's 1989 building, the study center is equipped with all the viewing facilities necessary for scholarly access to prints from the collections. The study center provides researchers with four flatbed viewing tables (two for 16mm prints, two for 35mm), a screening room, and equipment for several video formats. Screenings can also be scheduled in the Dryden and Curtis theaters.

The Dryden Theatre

The 500-seat Dryden Theatre is the premier exhibition space for the art of cinema as championed and interpreted by the George Eastman Museum. Presenting film screenings every day of the week, the Dryden is devoted to showing all films in their original formats, thus honoring and reproducing their historical—and aesthetically supreme—modes of exhibition. It is one of the very few theaters in the world equipped for the projection of original nitrate film that also makes nitrate film screenings part of its regular program.

The Curtis Theatre

The Curtis Theatre seats up to 80 and is equipped with 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8mm film projectors and multi-standard video projectors. The Curtis Theatre is used mainly for lectures, seminars, workshops, and other educational activities.