The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is the national audiovisual cultural institution.
Australians were early adopters of film and sound technologies, and the appetite to make, enjoy and discuss audiovisual culture remains strong.
From our earliest recordings in the 1890s to the latest games and immersive digital productions, the collection captures not only our technical and artistic achievements, but also our stories, obsessions and myths; our triumphs and sorrows; who we were, are, and want to be. Our memories preserved with the uncanny immediacy of recorded sound and motion pictures.
The collection dates back to 1935, making it one of the first audiovisual archives in the world. Originally known as the National Historical Film and Speaking Record Library and operating under the auspices of the Commonwealth National Library, the NFSA became an independent cultural organisation in 1984.
Today, the NFSA collection includes more than 4 million items, and not only video and audio recordings, but also contextual materials such as costumes, scripts, props, photographs and promotional materials. It is a diverse, dynamic and often surprising repository, ranging from items inducted into the UNESCO Memory of the World register to sporting matches, game shows and advertising jingles.
As well as preserving these items for future generations, NFSA curators continue to grow the collection ensuring it provides an unbroken record of life in Australia, and of Australian creativity.
Public programs and services – including Sounds of Australia, NFSA Restores, screenings and events, and educational programs delivered online and at our headquarters in Canberra – ensure that the collection is available for enjoyment, learning, research and re-use by creators.
In 2021, items from the collection were viewed more than 121 million times around the country, making it one of the country’s most vital and utilised cultural resources.
In the digital age, the NFSA’s wealth of stories captured in sounds and moving images will be increasingly available on demand across the country.
Purpose and Goal
The NFSA tells the national story by collecting, preserving and sharing audiovisual media, the cultural experience platforms of our time.
What we collect
The NFSA collection holds more than 4 million works.