External Resources

Available for use for academic study, professional projects and general interest, this is a compilation of research resources that focus on German-language films, as well as transnational productions. Although the most comprehensive information is in German, many of these sites provide information in English.

We expect this section to grow as the number of resources available in digitised format increases constantly, opening up access to archives around the world. If you would like to recommend a resource that is not listed here, please contact us with details.

  1. Filmportal
    Filmportal provides information on more than 88,000 German films and 195,000 personnel. Its online archive includes contemporary reviews, promotional material, and videos of complete and partial films. Part of the German Film Institute.
    Languages: German, English.
  2. Deutsches Filminstitut/Deutsches Filmmuseum (German Film Institute/Museum)
    Founded in 1949, the German Film Institute and Museum provides a home for German cinema. Details of its substantial film archive can be found here.
    Languages: German, English
  3. Bundesarchiv – Film
    A division of the German Federal Archives. Online search facilities provide information on holdings for film and related ephemera.
    Languages: German, English
  4. Deutsche Kinemathek
    Founded in 1963, the Deutsche Kinemathek has since been archiving material relating to the history and technique of film, cinema and TV. With an archive of 26,000 German and foreign films, it has a specialist collection of experimental and avant-garde productions.
    Languages: German, English
  5. Early German Cinema Database
    This site provides a compilation of film data from the perspective of supply, distribution, exhibition and reception of c. 45,000 films shown in Germany between 1895 to 1920. Compiled by the University of Cologne.
    Language: English
  6. Film Museum Austria
    A portal into the history of Austrian cinema, this resource provides the opportunity to view films that have been made accessible online.
    Languages: German, English.
  7. Austrian National Library
    The ANB has been digitising its collection as part of a wider EU initiative. The collection, which is freely accessible, this site provides access to a host of historical film-related material. From the Kinematographische Rundschau that first appeared in 1907, to Der gute Film that was published until 1937.
    Language: German
  8. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
    The Stabi has now digitised 191 historical newspapers. Among them, are treasures like the Berliner Tageblatt a popular daily paper which appeared up to 1939 and freqently covered the latest cinema releases.
    Language: German
  9. Sophie Collections, Films   
    “A digital library of works by German-speaking women,” Sophie includes information and resources on German-speaking filmmakers.
    Languages: English, German 
  10. Universität Zurich – Kinema
    Kinema, a Swiss film publication produced between 1911 and 1919, is available in digitised format.
    Language: German
  11. Cinémathèque Suisse
    With the sixth largest collection in the world, the CS holds more than 80,000 titles, nearly 3 million photographs and 720,000 periodicals.
    Languages: French, German
  12. Lexikon der Filmbegriffe    
    A handy guide to filmmaking terms.
    Language: German
  13. Arsenal
    Institut für Film und Videokunst. Communicating international film culture in a lively manner. Making film history dynamic and current.
    Languges: German and English
  14. Filmarchives Online
    An EU initiative, Filmarchives Online acts as a portal to the catalogues of national film industries.
    Languages: English, German
  15. Europeana Collections
    Although not specifically a film resource, the Europeana Collections provide access to a host of documents and memorabilia.
    Languages: EU languages
  16. The European Library  
    Provides access to a collection of historical European newspapers, several of which contain film reviews and contemporary accounts.
    Languages: EU languages
  17. The Internet Archive   
    The Internet Archive is US-American initiative that includes a small number of German language films.
    Languages: English
  18. Media History Digital Library
    An expansive resource collated from collections in public and private hands, this site includes several German-language resources. 
    Language: English
  19. The British Film Institute
    Although predominantly focused on British cinema, the BFI website includes information on foreign filmmakers, including German-speaking émigrés. The BFI National Archive also holds numerous German-language titles.
    Language: English
  20. Indian Cinema
    German filmmakers were active in the early cinema industry in India. Franz Osten and Josef Wirsching worked with Himansu Rai on the development of The Bombay Talkies; whilst Paul Zils had a significant influence on the development of the Indian documentary film. If this is an area of interest to you, you’ll find more information, including films on this site.
    Language: English
  21. Close-Up
    An arthouse cinema and resource centre for film culture/history in London’s Shoreditch, Close-Up has a library of rare and classic films.
    Language: English
  22. Lux  
    Also based in East London, LUX is a not for profit organisation that focuses on visual arts-based moving image work, including experimental film, video art, installation art, performance art, personal documentary, essay films and animation.
    Language: English
  23. Reframe 
    Based at the University of Surrey, Reframe is an academic digital platform listing several open access journals and ebooks.
    Language: English  
  24. Traum und Exzess
    Based on his book, Traum und Exzess. Die Kulturgeschichte des frühen Kinos, Klaus Kiermeier is compiling an archive of early film clips.
    Language: English 
  25. Kinofenster – Lehrmaterial
    This resource contains teaching material for more than 1,500 films, some of which are German/Austrian/Swiss.
    Language: German