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CNRS video Library

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Who are we?

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CNRS Images, a branch of the Communications Department of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France, has for its mission to act as a witness, through photography and audiovisual media, of scientific research taking place today. In its role of audiovisual creation, CNRS Images produces photo reports and films on every field of science covered by the CNRS. CNRS Images also coproduces television programs, shows and series related to scientific research.

The Video Library, with more than 3,000 films produced or co-produced by the CNRS since the 1960s, of which 1,897 can be viewed for free online, offers an unprecedented panorama of the world of science. Through reports, documentaries, archive or news films, all scientific fields are covered, from mathematics to the performing arts, space sciences and ecology. Within this important film heritage, ethnology, biology, physics and archaeology are particularly well represented. Every year, around thirty hours of new programs are added to this rich and varied collection.

The CNRS Video Library is also responsible for preserving and restoring the films entrusted to it. The Video Library manages assets that include digital files, 16 mm films and analog and digital videos. Some of the oldest documents date from the beginning of the 20th century.

In order to safeguard this heritage, CNRS Images has decided to digitize its database and has entered into a partnership with the Archives Françaises du Film of the CNC (French National Center of Cinematography and Moving Images) for the restoration of certain titles.

The online Video Library, which is bilingual in English, provides access to the documentary database, which can be searched in full text or by category. More than half of the collection can be viewed online free of charge. The user can select sequences and compose an order basket, which then becomes a workspace where the selected images are stored.