Call for Film Footage of American Public Libraries


For our upcoming documentary film about American public libraries, we want to see your archival film footage of public libraries in action. We’re especially interested in compelling footage from the 1920s – 1970s that will help us to illustrate the history of this valuable American public institution. So dust off those film cans, videotapes, and home movies – tell us about your treasures!

Send information to, and please include as much of the following information as is available

  • Date of footage
  • How we can find or access the footage
  • Film format (16mm, online for streaming, etc.)
  • Link to online version or reference to the film


FREE FOR ALL: Inside the Public Library is a is an in-progress film and new media project about the American public library and what it means to our country. It is told through the voices of some of the millions of Americans who use their local libraries every day, along with those of generations past who forged the library’s starring role in the public commons.

The film takes viewers on a road trip across the country, stitching together contemporary stories with outstanding and rarely seen archival material.

To supplement the film, a series of web-based short films will delve further into stories from people all over the country that illuminate life inside libraries.


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