Revitalized CineFiles Website Offers Public Access to
More than 60,000 Film Research Documents through Newly Streamlined Interface
(Berkeley, CA) June 8, 2020—To provide movie lovers with greater online access to its renowned collection of film publications and research materials, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) has launched a new digital portal into the holdings of its Film Library and Study Center. The newly revitalized CineFiles website offers a streamlined, user-friendly platform to access sixty thousand historical film documents that have been digitized from the library’s vast collection. From glossy, full-color promotional materials and multipage exhibitor manuals to hand-typed filmmaker correspondence and reviews from now-impossible-to-find magazines and publications—all spanning multiple decades of film history, and countless figures and cinema movements from around the world—these digital resources are freely accessible to film scholars and the general public.
“At BAMPFA’s Film Library and Study Center, we’re committed to making our outstanding film historical resources available to the broadest possible audience, and the relaunch of CineFiles is an exciting leap forward toward that goal,” said BAMPFA’s Director of Library Special Projects Michael Campos-Quinn. “With this state-of-the-art web portal now in place, the treasures of film history that we hold in our archives are more accessible to the public than at any previous moment in the library’s history.”
The relaunch of CineFiles replaces the site’s decade-old layout with a completely new interface that increases accessibility, streamlines functionality, and provides a more responsive user experience. The site’s updated search function is capable of producing more refined results across an array of search criteria, allowing users to access troves of information and materials about their favorite films and filmmakers. The collection of sixty thousand and counting digitized film ephemera on the site continues to expand, as the library’s digitization process for its holdings remains ongoing.
While the new CineFiles site has been in progress for months, its launch coincides with a moment when the Film Library itself is temporarily closed for in-person access, consistent with public health directives that have been imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. During this period, audiences looking to engage with BAMPFA’s historical film resources from home will find it easier than ever through this new portal.
The Film Library and Study Center holds in total more than twenty thousand books and magazines and hundreds of thousands of historical ephemera, including film reviews, interviews, scholarship, publicity materials, film magazines, book excerpts, filmmakers’ texts and correspondence, and other rare archival documents—many of which cannot be found anywhere else. The collection spans the full scope of film history, from the early 1900s to the present, and it also encompasses a wide range of national cinemas, with especially notable strengths in East Asian and American avant-garde cinema, that parallel those of BAMPFA’s film collection. The Film Library and Study Center also provides research access to the BAMPFA film collection, and its CineFiles materials are often used to accompany BAMPFA repertory screenings, such as an image drawn from the original US press kit for Juliet of the Spirits, used during the often sold-out Fellini at 100 retrospective screenings that occurred shortly before the COVID-19 closure.
“At a moment when so much arts and educational activity is shifting online because of the COVID-19 crisis, we’re proud to launch a new platform that will empower the Film Library’s audiences to continue engaging with our holdings with minimal disruption,” said Campos-Quinn. “Whether you’re a film scholar working on a historical research project or a casual movie buff looking for more information about the film you just streamed, the new and improved CineFiles provides a powerful point of access to our resources, which will continue to serve a large and growing audience even after our doors reopen.”
The CineFiles project relaunch is made possible with generous longtime support from the Louis B. Mayer Foundation. Over the course of the last twenty-five years, CineFiles has been developed and supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Packard Humanities Institute, the Library Services and Technology Act, and individual donors.
An internationally recognized arts institution with deep roots in the Bay Area, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a forum for cultural experiences that transform individuals and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and film. BAMPFA is UC Berkeley’s premier visual arts venue, presenting more than 450 film screenings, scores of public programs, and more than twenty exhibitions annually. With its vibrant and eclectic programming, BAMPFA inspires the imagination and ignites critical dialogue through art, film, and other forms of creative expression.
The institution’s collection of more than 28,000 works of art dates from 3000 BCE to the present day and includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and Conceptual art. BAMPFA’s collection also includes more than 17,500 films and videos, including the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, impressive holdings of Soviet cinema, West Coast avant-garde film, and seminal video art, as well as hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film.