Established in 1935 to collect films that illustrate the historic and artistic development of motion pictures and to establish the medium as a major art form, the Circulating Library initially included a circulating collection available at reasonable rates to colleges, museums, and other educational institutions. This has since been expanded to include regional and international film festivals, individual collectors, and other film organizations. The Circulating Library also provides the unique service of offering access to works by important independent filmmakers, works that would otherwise not be readily available. Although the Circulating Library has always had a widely varied collection, including early silent films, important documentaries, avant-garde and independent works, animation, and video art, an effort has been made in recent years to strengthen certain areas and to make more titles available to a wider film community. This effort has led to the inclusion of important works by and about artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Yoko Ono, and Robert Smithson.
The Circulating Film Library has grown to over 1,200 titles covering the history of film from the 1890s to present. It also incorporates the Circulating Video Library, an important collection of work by leading video artists. The Museum continues to add to its holdings of early silent films, contemporary documentaries, animation, and avant-garde and independent cinema, and to make these available to viewers who otherwise would not have the opportunity to see them.
Titles distributed by The Circulating Film and Video Library are available for rental or purchase in various film or video formats. Price quotes and availability of 16mm film purchases provided on request. Inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ordering & Pricing
Titles and Price Lists
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Rental charges are for one screening. Additional screenings on consecutive days are 50% of the initial rental fee. Rental fees for auditorium use or screenings where admission will be charged are in most cases set at the regular fee or 50% of the box office gross, whichever is higher. Certain films, including those marked by three asterisks (***), have higher auditorium fees. There are shipping fees and a $6 handling charge in addition to the rental fee for each film.
The renter is responsible for the return of the films, which must be shipped the day after the screening via Federal Express or another registered carrier. Films should never be shipped by USPS. Features should be insured for $700 and shorts for $200. The Museum has the right to charge 50% of the base rental for each day’s delay in returning films.
Please check availability by submitting the Request Form found on our page. Availability may also be checked by telephone, but in all cases this must be followed by a purchase order or a letter of confirmation on letterhead from an institution and prepayment by credit card before a film is shipped. A confirmation of the booking and an invoice will be sent to the renter upon receipt of the written order. Cancellations must be received before a film is shipped, otherwise the full rental fee will be charged.
Rental fees are for educational use with unpaid admissions. Any other use must be confirmed in writing by the Circulating Film and Video Library. An asterisk (*) on the Price List indicates films for which no admission may be charged at any time and for which no contributions can be collected. Two asterisks (**) indicate films that can be rented solely for the purpose of classroom study under the auspices of film-study departments. Films may not be duplicated or broadcast without written permission from the Circulating Film and Video Library.
Damage and Loss
The renter is responsible for the care of the films and will be charged for damage or loss. To avoid damage, always keep your projector gate clean and stay beside the projector during the screening. Do not rewind films, and make sure that the leader is securely taped down prior to shipping. The use of self-feeding projectors and platter systems is not allowed. Prints must not be cut in any way.
International Rental Fees
For international rentals, fees listed in this Price List are doubled. Fees must be prepaid by credit card only. Wire transfers are not accepted. All shipping and customs fees are the responsibility of the customer and all returning films should be shipped “free domicile.”
Sales and Leases
Film sales are in 16mm format and are for non-commercial, non-theatrical, educational use for the life of the print. Sale prints may not be duplicated, copied, altered, or broadcast. The prices listed for Video on the Price List are an estimate depending on the format needed. For other rights, please apply.