A great archive helps to reveal something about the present. The Flaherty created an opportunity for individuals to gather and explore with film. The Flaherty Seminar archives offer a unique opportunity to reengage with perennial ideas of form, representation, and innovation that confront all who engage with the cinematic arts.

The Flaherty Film Seminar Archive was donated to NYU Libraries in 2012, it contains over 1,200 video and audio recordings of activities and discussions that occurred at the various Seminars in our over sixty-five-year history.


The collection features insight from well-known and culturally significant figures such as Charles Burnett, Shirley Clarke, Bruce Connor, Frances Flaherty, Hollis Frampton, William Greaves, Ken Jacobs, Pauline Kael, Barbara Kopple, Cauleen Smith, Richard Leacock, David Maysles, and Agnes Varda. The collective memory of this extraordinary audio archive contains direct accounts of crew members in the making of the Flaherty films, as well as discussions which dissect the social, ethical, political, and technical issues of filmmaking over the last half-century.

NYU Fales Library & Special Collections has digitized discussion audio from past Flaherty Film Seminars from 1958, 1963 – 2001. We have started transcription of all the existing archived materials plus the recent seminars from 2002 - 2019, as well as recent Flaherty NYC discussions (2013 – present). The transcriptions are crucial to researchers. We recently received 68 boxes of archival objects from Claremont College related to the life and works of Robert and Frances Flaherty, along with the rights to film materials housed at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and photographs at the National Archives of Canada.