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Accessing the Collections: Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division

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Increasingly, the Center's audio-visual holdings are being cataloged in The New York Public Library's online public access catalog, and are also accessible through the VIM and REC files of the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN), available via the Internet, and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

Additionally, the division has developed a local database management system, particularly for the recorded music and film collections. Through this database, onsite researchers are able to conduct a variety of searches to match any number of side musicians with each other and/or with composers, lyricists, or song titles.

Most sound recordings and videos are played through a remote playback system to patrons in semi-private listening/viewing facilities;  generally, no appointment is required for access to these materials. Motion picture films, however, are shown only on scanners (for preservation reasons) and by appointment only. Call (212) 491-2236, Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 am– 5:00 pm for film screening appointments.

Reproduction of materials in the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division, which are required to be made in-house, is restricted both by applicable copyrights and by available staff time. Division staff provides research and referral assistance to filmmakers and radio and television producers, but the division does not function as a stock footage house.