Posted on

Thousands at your fingertips: Spring/Summer 2020 Promotion

Are you

  • Working on a project that needs National Archives footage?
  • Wondering when the National Archives will reopen?
  • Tired of paying exorbitant prices for 15-second stock footage clips?
  • Perplexed by signing licensing agreements for footage that resides in the public domain?
  • Looking for free bonus footage?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in the right place. We have thousands of native scanned high definition film transfers, spanning all the popular National Archives Record Groups, available as 1920×1080/24p ProRes422 files—downloadable for your project. Our customer service team is ready to reply to new requests in a matter of hours.

National Archives Identification Numbers

You provide the National Archives Local ID numbers and we’ll let you know if the titles are available in our collection. Stretch your dollars! An average 15-second “hi-def” clip can cost $120 at stock footage outfits. Here at FFS, you can get an entire 10-minute story for $120!

Follow the Numbers

The FFS collection includes thousands of archival treasures from the National Archives. See a few examples in our store. You’ll need to find the titles you want in the National Archives Online Catalog and record their corresponding Local Identifier Numbers.

Buy 3 get the 4th file free.

When you’re ready to order, send us your final list and we’ll send you an invoice. For every 3 files, you get the 4th file of the same or lesser value free. Offer ends September 15, 2020.

Screener Special
To receive up to 5 free screeners, include the special code provided in our promotion email. Since screeners normally cost $5 each, you can get up to $25 worth of free screeners. Offer ends September 15, 2020.

National Archives Identification Numbers Hunt

To order titles you need to understand the National Archives nomenclature. As one might expect, the holdings are organized into categories or Record Groups. See our Deciphering the NARA Code for an introduction to the categories.

Step One:  Research the National Archives catalog

  • To find titles in the catalog input keywords or titles if you have one in mind. Here’s an example, searching for titles related to the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949. We typed in Berlin Airlift into the search box and hit ENTER.
  • The results include all types of materials: charts, documents, photographs, and moving images. Our results show 63 pages of possibilities! We need to narrow them down to just Moving Images.
Complete results for all materials
  • Look in the left sidebar (column) under Refine by Type of Materials and select Moving Image Items to limit your search results. Now we have only 5 pages and 87 moving image candidates. It’s time to start checking out titles of interest.
Moving Images Sort
  • Click on a promising title. In our hunt we found Airlift: Working for Humanity on page 2. Having read the description, we want to find out if it is in the FFS Collection. To add it to our list of hopefuls, we’ll need the Local Identifier number.
Airlift: Working for Humanity
  • Find the Local Identifier for each title of interest. In our example, the ID is 330-DVIC-38355. Make sure to include the dashes, spaces or periods exactly as displayed for each title you find.  

    Here’s a closer view.

Close-up view of the Local Identifier 330-DVIC-38355

Step Two: Compile your list of hopefuls and send it to us.

  • Once you have found Local ID numbers of interest, email the list to us at We’ll search the FFS database and let you know what we find within hours. Please submit at least 5 Local ID numbers. We are not able to search for less than 5 Local ID numbers at a time. We cannot perform keyword searches. You must know the Local ID number. Including the title along with the ID number is helpful as a cross reference.
  • To receive up to 5 free screeners, include the special code provided in our promotion email. Since screeners normally cost $5 each, you can get up to $25 worth of free screeners.

Step Three: Order and receive the clips

  • When you are ready to order, send us your final list and we’ll send you an invoice out of our Paypal account. For every 3 files, you get the 4th file of the same or lesser value free.
  • Once the invoice is paid and the files have been uploaded you will receive an email with the download links to your high definition 1920×1080/24p ProRes422 files.
  • As with all our online sales, sales are final. Please see our Terms and Conditions.

Download the PDF version of the above “tutorial” with a sample list

Start your hunt today!

Posted on

National Archives Closed Facilities Announcement

As a public health precaution, due to COVID-19, the following changes are effective close of business Friday, March 13:

  • All National Archives research rooms nationwide, including those at Presidential Libraries, will be closed to the public until further notice. 
  • All museums, including those at Presidential Libraries, will be closed to the public until further notice.
  • All public events in National Archives facilities nationwide are cancelled until further notice. This includes in-person public programs, tours, school group visits, public meetings, external conferences, and facility rentals. Where possible, we will conduct public events and outreach activities online and through virtual meetings.


Here at the FilmFileShop we have an extensive inventory of many different record groups from the National Archives collection. All reels are native scanned from film (no upconverts) in 1920×1080 24p, 10 bit uncompressed file format.

If you’re in need of footage and can’t wait for the National Archives to resume its services please send us an email with your Local ID numbers along with the description and we’ll have a look through our database. If the file exists in our collection, we’re happy to fill your request within a few days after an invoice has been paid. Please send all requests to Due to the high request load and low staffing requirement we will NOT answer the phone or call back clients. We are limited to using email only during these very high-volume times. Thank you.

We look forward to serving your stock footage needs.


Paul Mathews

National Archives:
Coronavirus image: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Public domain

Posted on


It’s inauguration time again!  

To celebrate the re-launch of our site we highlight the first ever motion picture film with sound of a Presidential Inauguration. The year is 1933 and the President who will take the Oath of Office is Franklin D. Roosevelt, our 32nd President. The enthusiasm of the day, witnessed by some 250,000 people, is captured. Before the days of television, film highlights were rushed to New York City for broadcast.  Watch the film that citizens watched that day. See the historic ride down Pennsylvania Avenue. Listen to excerpts of President Roosevelt’s historic speech. And if you would like to download a high definition file, it’s available for purchase!

Watch it now!

Sign up now to receive occasional emails with special discounts and receive your first offer!

Posted on

A note to students

The FilmFileShop collection is made up of more than newsreels. If you imagine the different types of movies as part of a large tree, then the newsreels are part of a major “branch” called documentaries. Although the term “documentary” was not coined until 1926 (attributed to John Grierson), the first “movie goers” witnessed the seeds of the documentary. The titles provide the clues: “Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory in Lyon” and “Train Arriving at the Station” (both from 1895, by the Lumiere Brothers, France). The very earliest of films also offered scenes from faraway places and events of the day, such as the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, 1896, in Russia. The movie camera was capturing “eye witnessed,” live action events and scenes “on location.” Enthusiasm for exotic and novelty “actuality” footage fueled expeditions and adventures.

“Actuality footage” was part of the typical early movie viewing experience. The first movies were very short, some lasting less than a minute. As the technology improved and the language of film grew it became possible to weave the footage together to tell a story, describe a process, or get a point across.

What is a documentary?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offers this description: “Documentary films are defined as those that deal with historical, social, scientific, or economic subjects, either photographed in actual occurrence or re-enacted, and where the emphasis is more on factual content than on entertainment.” P. 317 Madsen, The Impact of Film. Many of the titles in the FilmFileShop collection fit under the broad documentary umbrella. There are training films, including selections from World War II and from the NASA Space Program (Jungle Survival Training, for example). There is edited and unedited eyewitness war footage taken by Armed Forces cameramen of the two World Wars, Korea, and Viet Nam. There are titles covering major social and political events of the last century. This film and video material is categorized as “archival” footage. Archival footage is described as motion images and sound that is important to preserve. As you probably know, an institution that protects important documents, including motion pictures, is called an archive. Footage from our collection will be added weekly.

What is a Newsreel? What can they tell us?

As you probably know, newsreels were shown in theaters in the days before television. There were even a few theaters devoted entirely to showing newsreels! Mostly the newsreels were shown as short subjects along with other short subjects and a feature film. The earliest newsreels (Pathe Weekly) shown in the United States were made and distributed by the Pathe Company starting in 1911. Pathe was an international, French company with branches in many countries. The last US newsreel was released in 1967 (Universal News series). In the “Silent Era,” title cards would identify the subject and sometimes comment on the footage. With the sound era, off camera narration and music could be more fully integrated with the moving picture. Typically ranging from five to ten minutes, newsreels presented the “stuff” of our modern day newscasts, internet newsfeeds, tweets, and postings.


Our collection currently features newsreels from the Universal News (200 UN) and United News series (208 UN) as well as moving image records created by the US armed services and many other US government agencies. The United News series was produced during World War II (1942 – 1945) by the Office of War Information (OWI). This material is in the public domain and therefore can be used in your own projects and research, generally without worry about copyright. Please note that proper citation is important. The “provenance” for these clips can be verified, if you have questions, through the National Archives website. In some cases, celebrities and copyrighted music may require that you seek additional permissions for public use.

Newsreels offer us insights into the life, thoughts, events, and material goods of the past. We can see what cars, towns, cities, clothes, celebrities, politicians looked like at different times and places. If we dig a little deeper we can see patterns of opinion and bias. And particularly during war times we can study propaganda and persuasion.

Posted on

What sets us apart?

Titles not clips.

Many stock footage houses on the internet offer material that ranges from historic to contemporary footage. Depending on the content, the buyer can expect to pay an average of $120 for a clip lasting 15 seconds to 2 minutes. Here at FilmFileShop, you can pay $120 for an entire story in HD ProRes422 that may be 10 minutes in length! Watch the entire title in the store to view the content that you will receive.

Our previews are 320 x 180 to make study easy, even on your mobile devices. What you will receive when you purchase are 1920 x 1080 HD ProRes422(hq) files derived from our master 10-bit uncompressed high definition source files.

Source matters

Some “clip sellers” do not divulge a video file’s background and contextual information. If you just need 15 seconds’ worth of adorable puppy, origin may not be of much interest to you. But what if you are researching “dogs in war” for a documentary or history project? You need the whole enchilada for context and you need to know all the information that you can dig up: title, producer, date, location, etc. Our titles come with their provenance, to the extent possible. For our National Archives (NARA) titles, we identify each title using the NARA nomenclature.  If you are a history buff, you will appreciate knowing how each title fits into the larger scope of material.
See our Deciphering the NARA code.

Format source also matters in the high definition world. All of our high definition files were transferred in high definition directly to file from motion picture film. We do not provide up-converted material from standard definition. No secret proprietary up-conversion process exists to match the high definition resolution of a 10-bit uncompressed 1920 x 1080 file!

Posted on

How to order

Like any online store, you locate items that interest you and place them in the cart. When you are ready to purchase, you have the option to register first or buy your files as a guest.

We’ve set the cart up so you can only purchase one clip of each item. That’s all you need.

And if you are an international client needing delivery in PAL, you can only purchase that once per order also.

Secure payment process: your purchase happens through PayPal. You have the option to pay with your credit card or PayPal account.

You will be sent back to FilmFileShop to view your order confirmation.

You will receive an email with the secure log in details from our ShareFile service.  Please be patient. Your files will be uploaded to our service once we receive your order. You will be given complete instructions and ample time to download.

Please remember that all sales are final. There can be no refunds, so please confirm your order before hitting that final button.


Posted on

Deciphering the NARA code

NARA Archival material is categorized by record groups and series. Take a glance at the table below and you will see that knowing some basic “identifiers” can accelerate your research. Here is a partial list containing the most popular record groups. We hope this helps you see the depth of our “library.”

Here’s a quick example of the sequence which goes from broad to specific.

208 UN 1 (Local ID #)
208 = Record Group
UN = Series
1 = the unique identifier number within this Record Group and Series

Record GroupDescription
16 PUS Dept. of Agriculture Public Information and Training
18 ATCAir Transport Command of the Army Air Forces
18 CCombat Film Report - US Army Air Forces
18 CSUS War Department Army Air Forces
18 CWDCombat Weekly digest (Army Air Forces)
18 SFPCombat Subjects
26Moving Images Relating to Coast Guard Activities
28Post Office Department
33Department of Agriculture
46Records of the US Senate
47Records of the Social Security Administration
48Department of Interior/National Park Service, etc
56US Department of the Treasury
57US Department of the Interior: Geological Survey
59General Record
65Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
70US Bureau of Mines Public Information
77Army Corps of Engineers
80 MCUS Dept of Navy - Commercial Works
80 MNUS Navy Motion Picture Film Productions
85Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
87Records of the US Secret Service
90US Public Health Service
95Forest Service Public Announcements
96US Department of Agriculture - Farm Security Administration
102Department of Labor. Children's Bureau
107Secretary of War Records
111 ADCUS Army World War II training & combat films
111 CBCombat Bulletin, US Army
111 CRCampaign Report, US Army
111 EFEducational Films of US Army
111 FBFilm Bulletins, US Army
111 HDepartment of Army Historical Films
111 LCUS Army Library Copy Collection
111 MUS Army World War II Miscellaneous
111 OFUS Army Orientation Films
111 SFPStaff Film Reports, US Army
111 SMWorld War II Army-Navy Screen Magazine
111 TFTraining Films, US Army
111 TVBig Picture Television Program, US Army
111 WFWar Film, US Army
115Department of the Interior; Bureau of Reclamation
127Records of US Marine Corps - Additional
127 RUS Marine Corps Records
171Office of Emergency Management: Civilian Defense
174Department of Labor
175US Military Chemical and Biological Warfare Program
200.Gift Record Group
200 CBS-WWICBS Collection, rights conferred to US Govt in 1986
200 FCFord Motor Company
200 HFHarmon Foundation Collection
200 LWLongines Wittnauer 1950s Television Interview Series
200 MTTMarch of Times Outtakes
200 PN Paramount News-fully restricted. No reproduction without prior permission
200 UN Universal Newsreels
207US Department of Housing and Urban Development
208Office of War Info: Propaganda
208 UNUnited News
226Office of Strategic Services
238World War II War Crimes Records
242Seized Foreign Property - Emergency Management
242 GPNGerman Portuguese News
242 MIDMilitary Intelligence Div. Seized Foreign Records
255 HQNASA Headquarters Series- Aeronautics
255 SNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
263Intelligence and International Relations
266Securities and Exchange Commission Records
286US Office of International Development
306US Information Agency (USIA) Records
330 DVICMilitary Activities Around the World; Office of the Secretary of Defense
342 APCArmy Pictorial Center Motion Picture Films
342 FCUS Air Force Film Clips
342 NRUS Air Force News Releases
342 SFPUS Air Force Special Film Projects
342 TFUS Air Force Training Film Series
342 USAFRecords of United States Air Force Commands
428 MN US Dept of Navy - General Edited Works
428 NPCDepartment of the Navy
434Department of Energy