Audio & Video Files

Recording studio.

Updated December 16, 2020

NYPL is now accepting requests for new digitization of audio and video recordings. However, at this time we CANNOT accommoate any requests for digitiztion of 8mm or 16mm films.

Please note, due to limited on-site staffing and new quarantine protocols put in place to handle materials during this COVID-19 pandemic, it may take up to two weeks from when a request is submitted to hear back from us if we can process or not. If so, you will be invoiced and turnaround is 4 weeks from receipt of payment.

Requests will be Invoiced via Freshbooks for payment by credit card or bank transfer through their website. During this time we CANNOT accept payment by check.


Duplication of Audio and Video Files

If you are interested in requesting a digital copy of any of the Library’s audio or visual materials, please follow the instructions below. NYPL does not lend audio or visual recordings for exhibitions or any other usage, and dupes need to be purchased abiding by intellectual property law.

Please note that requests for dupes of original recordings from the Theatre on Film & Tape Archive also must be approved by the Collation of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG).

If you have any questions, please contact Permissions and Reproduction Services directly at


To begin your inquiry, please complete and return the NYPL Audio & Video Recording Duplication Inquiry Form.


Your request will be reviewed in terms of availability and copyright status. 

No matter what your intended usage, written clearances are required from all rights holders that may include filmmakers, choreographers, composers, intervewers, interviewees, dance companies, etc. before the Library can reproduce any recording.

If the request is approved and clearances obtained, you will be notified of choice of format available and the corresponding reproduction fee.

The Library will provide the entire recording unless a clip has been requested and can be accommodated (requester must provide the time code starting point and duration within the original recording). There is a surcharge for clip editing.

NYPL does not provide rush service.

If NYPL holds copyright additional licensing fees will apply. 

Please contact the holding division if further information about the recordings is requested:



The New York Public Library is taking significant steps to preserve our audio and moving image (AMI) holdings. The AMI collections of the Library are records of ephemeral moments in history, from performing arts rehearsals and productions to unreleased interviews and radio broadcasts that capture contemporary reactions to notable world events. Without these recordings, much of the texture that these sounds and moving images provide would otherwise be lost to history. Through an initial exploratory project, the Library determined that it holds 810,000 AMI items, nearly one-third of which would not be preserved by other institutions. Many of these AMI materials are in formats reaching the end of their lives: the curatorial and preservation staff who performed the assessment estimate that about 225,000 of the materials will be unplayable and their content unrecoverable in the next 10 to 15 years due to decay, obsolescence, the loss of technology and expertise, and rising cost of migration. Thanks to a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation and support from other funders, the Library launched this effort in 2015 to digitize the approximately 225,000 at risk and rare items over ten years, preserving this history for the future.

In line with the Library’s mission, we strive to provide access to our research holdings whenever possible.  Because of the urgency of this digitization work, we will be prioritizing the preservation and reformatting of these AMI materials until this project is complete.  During this time, some items may be unavailable for viewing, while others may be accessible for viewing but unavailable for duplication.