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Archival materials

Archival Materials are used to preserve history. They act as collective memories enshrining events, people and places for future generations. Archival footage is frequently used in corporate video to draw a line from the past to the present and on into the future.

Video Only?

archival materials
Photos are great for archival use in video

Although video is an excellent source of archival material, it’s not the only source. Anything that can be shot or scanned for inclusion in a video is fair game. Photos are a treasure trove of archive material and can really enhance a production. Whether it’s a childhood shot of a CEO on the phone or a business when it was founded in 1976, photos can lend an air of gravity to a project.

Is Archival Material Free?

Let’s address this question by first talking about two types of archival footage: royalty-free and payable stock footage. Royalty-free footage means you won’t need to pay a fee every time the footage is shown. Either this footage was always intended to be royalty-free, or perhaps it’s considered public domain.

Purchased stock footage is referred to as payable.  When we buy stock footage for a Key West Video production, it means we own it for the life and use of that video. Films and television productions also buy and use this kind of footage.

Another thing to consider when it comes to archival material is rights and clearances. The materials may be restricted by use—is it for commercial or non-commercial purposes? You may also be limited by time constraints or internet conditions.

Where Can I Find Archival Materials?

Some archival footage is publicly available and easy to source. The Government of Canada has archived materials for public use.  The National Film Board also has searchable archives.  NASA provides a wealth of stellar images, animation and video that can be downloaded and used by anyone.

archival footage
International Space Station astronaut image from NASA’s Image of the Day archives

Clients are a rich source of archival material. At Key West Video, we often use old photos, video and anything else a client can provide. If we’re creating a branding piece, this is a great resource. Same goes for a retirement video or an anniversary.

archival materials
Most television stations have archived news stories you can purchase for use

Television stations are the place to go for news footage. They’re not the only source, but most will have a vast collection of archival material sold for use in videos. The advantage here is the in-house librarians who can search for what you need.

There are a number of stock footage options when it comes to video assets. Most have an associated price, but are still a cost-effective way to procure visuals. Finding the shot or shots you need is as easy as going online and conducting a search. It’s kind of amazing the range of visuals you can find using stock footage.

Does my Video Need Archival Footage?

If you’re looking to create a branding piece that talks about the history of your company or you’re referencing a historical event, archival footage is a good choice. At Key West Video, we know when to use archival footage and where to source it. Call us today for a free quote.

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