Audiovisual Materials

Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only, limited to UMN affiliates. Appointments must be made one week in advance of your visit. Contact for assistance or the curator of the collecting area you wish to use. We continue to provide scans of requested research materials when possible, especially for our non-campus clientele.


The University Archives selects, preserves, and provides long term access to historically valuable documentation of the University in all formats. Content transferred to University Archives is administered by archives staff who will make it accessible for research and re-use to the campus community and external users. Archives staff will administer use requests from campus and external users including the creation of reference, preservation, or production copies. Members of the campus community will have access to the content they have transferred to University Archives eliminating the need for storage of local/multiple copies.

These guidelines for audiovisual content including film, video, and audio recordings, are designed to assist campus units as they assess their material for potential transfer to University Archives. Please contact University Archives for additional information.

  • University Archives accepts finished campus productions in all formats (e.g. 8/16mm film, VHS/Betacam video, DV tape, DVDs, reel to reel audio, LPs, cassette tapes, CDs). In general, the Archives does not accept raw footage or audio; however, high quality footage / audio of campus scenes or events may be an exception.
  • The Archives cannot accept unidentified, unlabeled material.
  • University Archives cannot preserve content that is restricted from public access.
  • Content transferred to the Archives is presumed to be owned by the Regents of the University and either the product of a campus unit or a work for hire. Audiovisual material that depicts students or non-University individuals must be accompanied by signed releases. Recordings of faculty and staff in the course of their work should not require releases.
  • University Archives cannot accept audiovisual recordings of human subject research. Exceptions may be made for material that successfully received IRB approval, does not contain identifiable private information, or significantly contributes to the historical documentation of the University.
  • The preferred file formats for digital video are .AVI file or .MP4. The preferred file formats for digital audio are .WAV or .AIF. The Archives will also accept other file formats, particularly .MOV for video and .MP3 for audio.