For the remainder of 2023, loans from the collection are on hold. Response times for the HFA's research services, including reference requests, in-person viewing appointments, and reformatting requests will be operating on a delayed timeline and staff will not be responding to stock footage requests. Please allow for extra response times and plan your requests accordingly.

The Harvard Film Archive is committed to allowing the broadest possible access to its collections through on-site access at our research center, online resources, and our robust film loan program to venues that meet the HFA’s requirements for the professional care, handling, and projection of archival films.


  • The HFA welcomes loan requests from qualified venues seeking to borrow films for screenings or programs at their institutions.
  • In addition to 35mm and 16mm vintage exhibition prints, the HFA has a growing number DCPs and digitized films that are available to borrow for exhibition screenings.
  • Loan requests should be submitted at least 8 weeks in advance of proposed screenings. Once received, loan requests will be assessed and approved by an internal access committee.


Step 1: Determine availability of HFA film material. Email the HFA’s Collections Manager, Mark Johnson, with a list of desired titles and screen dates. This initial email should be received at least six weeks in advance of your proposed screening. The HFA will inform you of the condition and availability of the film material for your program.

Step 2: Upon receiving confirmation of print availability, Borrower should formally request films by emailing the necessary forms along with evidence of rights clearance. Borrower will email the completed PDF of the HFA Loan Request Form. Borrowers must fill out and email the HFA’s Venue Report Form at this time. A booking confirmation from the HFA will specify a deadline by which the borrowing institution must provide the HFA with the following items:

  • Venue Report signed
  • Evidence of copyright permission for screening(s)

Step 3: Upon receipt of the above materials, the HFA will email an official Loan Agreement form to be signed and returned. Film material will be prepped and sent to the borrowing institution for delivery one week prior to scheduled screenings. Outbound courier tracking information will be provided to the Borrower the day of the shipment. Following your final screening(s), borrowed film material must be returned to the HFA within one week.



Is the HFA’s collection searchable online?

Yes! Please refer to our guide on How To Search the Collection.

How can I find print sources for films screened at the HFA?

Print sources are listed in the individual film and program descriptions on our website. Please contact the HFA’s Collections Manager, Mark Johnson, with any additional print source related inquiries.

Does the HFA charge loan fees?

Unless the borrower is a International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) member or affiliate, a standard loan fee will be charged. Fees are generally contingent on the format and running time of the film.

How do I know if my institution meets the criteria to borrow films from the HFA?

Venues that meet the HFA’s requirements for the professional care, handling, and projection of archival films are eligible to borrow films. More details can be found in the HFA’s Policies and Procedures.

Are all of the films in the HFA’s collection available for loans?

No. The HFA is careful about loaning unique archival film material and will only loan material that is backed up by other print material. Availability is also contingent on print condition.

Does the HFA hold the screening rights to the films in its collection?

No. Borrowers are responsible for securing any and all permissions necessary to screen borrowed films.

How can I watch a film print from the HFA's collection?

The HFA collections are open to all researchers regardless of academic affiliation. While you do not need to be affiliated with a university or professional organization, you do need to have a valid research project. Film prints are accessible by advanced appointment only and in close consultation with HFA staff. Please refer to our Research Policies for more detail on how to set up an appointment.

How many times can I screen a borrowed print at my institution?

In the interest of avoiding unnecessary wear and tear on film prints, the HFA limits prints to a single screening per loan, with some possible exceptions.

Are HFA prints available to borrow through Interlibrary Loan?

No. Film prints are accessible for individual viewing on campus by advanced appointment only and in close consultation with HFA staff. Please refer to our Research Policies for more detail on how to set up an appointment.

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