Irish Film Institute -Donating Material

Donating Material

The Irish Film Archive collects and cares for moving image material made in or about Ireland.

PLEASE NOTE: The IFI does NOT accept and cannot take responsibility for unsolicited donations (including drop-offs), please contact the Archive before sending anything into us. Unsolicited donations may be returned or disposed of at the discretion of the Head of Archive.

Having a non-purchase acquisition policy we rely on the donation of material by those eager to see films preserved and centralised in a national archive. We acquire collections from private sources, production companies and professional bodies. In addition to commercial film production, we are eager to acquire any amateur material that comes within our acquisition policy. Some of the most interesting material in our collection is of an amateur nature and provides us with a vivid document of 20th and early 21st century Ireland. These non-professional films are snapshots of Ireland at the time they were made and often record social events, community activities, traditions, pastimes or geographical details that may otherwise be forgotten. We are able to properly care for this material in special vaults, preserving it for the enjoyment of this and future generations. The Archive staff would love to hear from any members of the public who think they have material we may wish to preserve.

Why donate my film to the Irish Film Archive?

Film is a very fragile medium and needs to be stored in specific conditions of temperature and humidity to prevent it decaying. We believe that important film may still be held in private collections around the country. This film needs to be stored appropriately to ensure its preservation. The Irish Film Archive has climate- controlled vaults specially built for the preservation of film materials and our staff has expertise in the care and cataloguing of a variety of film types. Frequently the Archive will be able to present the donor with a DVD copy of the material they donate.

Another important reason to consider donating your film collection to the Irish Film Archive is the possibility that it might be nitrate stock. Cellulose nitrate film was used commercially until 1952. This film is highly flammable and has been known to spontaneously combust. It is essential that all such film is removed from the public domain. If you think you have a nitrate film please contact the Irish Film Archive immediately.

What kind of material is the Archive interested in?

Film reels of any gauge or other items related to Irish film making such as stills, scripts, posters or other film memorabilia. If you think you have found something the Irish Film Archive may find interesting please contact us. Although we may not be able to accept everything that is offered to us we will be able to advise you on how best to care for your material.

Does the Irish Film Archive own the films once they are deposited?

Although the Irish Film Archive will become the physical custodian of the material we care for the copyright holder will retain copyright ownership. In some cases the copyright holder and donor will be one and the same, in many other cases the donor will have no claim on copyright and the copyright holder will need to be contacted to allow the material to be used.

For more information on donating Archive material, please contact Kasandra O’Connell or Manus McManus at 01 679 5744 or

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland