UCSB Library Special Research Collections selectively acquires rare and unique materials related to the history of film and television with a focus on non-theatrical moving images such as home movies, amateur film, and community television as well as manuscript materials and publications that relate to the history of film and television production, distribution, and exhibition. Within this collecting area, priority is  given to materials that are created by or reflect the experiences of individuals and organizations from Santa Barbara, the Central Coast, and Southern California as well as individuals and communities currently underrepresented in archival collections of the film and television industry.

Existing Strengths: 

UCSB Library Special Research Collections holds significant moving image materials and collections related to film and television within the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA), the Performing Arts Collection, the Santa Barbara History Collection, and the University Archives.  In 2020, Special Research Collections established the Film and Television Collection to focus exclusively on acquisition of materials related to the history of the film and television industries.

Collecting Priorities:

  • Industry perspectives on film and television history
  • Local television history, production, & reception
  • Community and public access television 
  • Theatrical distribution & exhibition practices (local, international)
  • Histories of moviegoing (local, international, community-focused)
  • International marketing and exhibition of Hollywood productions
  • Non-theatrical media production & distribution (broadcast, home movies, adult films)
  • Local film festivals, clubs, and societies

Manuscript Collections:


  • Individual creators (writers, directors, editors, performers)
  • Organizations (studios, production companies, TV stations, festivals, movie theaters)
  • Industry participants (agents, managers, theater programmers and exhibitors)


  • Administrative records (meeting minutes, agendas, correspondence, financial reports)
  • Newsletters
  • Production materials
  • Marketing and promotional materials 
  • Local and regional film festival programs and ephemera
  • Unpublished scripts, screenplays, and show bibles 

Moving Image Collections


  • Home movies and amateur film
  • Adult film and video with focus on stag and LGBTQ+ materials
  • Industrial & sponsored media (local, related to film & television industry)
  • Local television (network affiliates, community access)
  • Local and regional advertisements and public service announcements
  • Travelogs (local, regional)


  • Small gauge motion picture film (16mm, 8mm, Super8)
  • Broadcast and consumer videotape (all formats)
  • DVD, BluRay and other optical discs 
  • Born digital video

Published Materials:

  • Trade journals & other industry publications
  • Local and regional television listings (pre-TV Guide)
  • Educational and non-theatrical media rental catalogs 
  • Zines or fan-created publications

Selective Collecting:

  • Other motion picture film gauges and analog media (including 35mm film)
  • Photographs (behind the scenes, production stills, unpublished)
  • Scrapbooks and photograph albums
  • Architectural and engineering designs and documents for movie theaters
  • Newsreels 
  • Movie trailers
  • Oral histories and interviews
  • Travelogs (national, international)
  • National television broadcasts or programming
  • Research/subject files integral to the understanding of the collection
  • Digital and analog reproductions of collection items
  • Published materials (books, magazines) 
  • Media production and playback equipment, artifacts, and related service manuals

Generally Out of Scope:

  • Duplicates (textually or visually identical) of other collection materials
  • Materials held at other libraries or that are otherwise readily available elsewhere 
  • Materials that duplicate the collecting strengths of other collecting institutions
  • Digital or analog reproductions of materials held elsewhere unless integral to collection
  • Portions of collections that have major deposits at other collecting institutions
  • Materials that are damaged beyond repair or use, including mold and vinegar syndrome
  • Artifacts and three-dimensional objects (plaques, medals, trophies, sculptures)
  • Fine art photography, framed materials, paintings on canvas, theatrical posters
  • Media recording or playback equipment that is not functioning or is in poor condition
  • Materials that require exceptional resources for us to provide proper stewardship including large collections of born digital materials and fragile or damaged materials
  • Unauthorized or illegal audiovisual recordings (off-air broadcasts, bootlegs, etc.) 


Laura Treat
Curator, Film & Television
Curator, Santa Barbara & Local History