Collecting and preserving Hong Kong films
The Archive started operation in 1993, when its Planning Office was established by the then Urban Council. Besides conducting campaigns to secure and preserve films and related materials, it also launched a series of publications and presented film programmes and exhibitions. These tasks were undertaken by various sections of the Archive, namely Acquisition Unit, Conservation Unit, Cataloguing Unit, Research & Editorial Unit, Programming Unit, Systems Unit, and Administration and Venue Unit.
Upon the dissolution of the Urban Council, the Archive became a part of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in 2000.
Equipped with latest technology
The Archive building, opened in January 2001, houses in it a cinema, an exhibition hall and a resource centre, all equipped with the latest technology to restore glamour to the films of yesteryear.
Thanks to the support of filmmakers, film companies and movie lovers, the Archive has been able to put together a vast collection of treasures. It is our mission to open the Archive's collection to the public and to facilitate researchers and filmmakers in using the materials we have accumulated, so that the heritage of Hong Kong cinema can be shared.
The Archive joined the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) in 1996. Through FIAF activities, we are able to exchange experiences with archivists from around the world and keep abreast of the latest development and technology in the field of film archiving.
Hong Kong Film Archive Layout
The main duty of Conservation Unit is to conserve the Archive's cinematic collections. With the use of scientific methods, the invaluable and irreplaceable collections can be preserved for extended period such that they can be studied and enjoyed by the future generations.
Please click here to learn more about collection conservation information.
Cataloguing Unit (Resource Centre)
The materials acquired by the Archive are registered, sorted, catalogued, documented and preserved by the Resource Centre (Cataloguing Unit). They are categorized and catalogued according to the international classification standard Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules 2nd ed. (AACR2). The Archive collection covers a wide scope of subjects mainly on Hong Kong films. It includes numerous kinds of audiovisual and electronic materials, such as Chinese and English publications, posters and production stills. Users may browse our online catalogue through the newly developed bilingual LCSD Museums Collection Management System via the workstations at the Resource Centre or on the Internet to meet research need.
Film is a medium of art, and also a medium of communication. A film contains precious informative and entertaining elements that reflect the society's changing history and culture. Our cinematic heritage is a precious record of our past through which we can gain a better understanding of our society.
To enhance public interest in of our cinematic heritage, the Archive holds regular programmes such as retrospectives, exhibitions and seminars. Periodic booklets are published to complement the programmes.
We also work with organisations such as schools, academic institutions and overseas archives to enrich our programmes and to broaden the scope of our services for the community.
Research & Editorial Unit
The Research & Editorial Unit carries out research projects and prepares publications. It makes use of the rich collection of audiovisual and archival material at the Hong Kong Film Archive, and also conducts their own research into various sources, such as periodical articles. For example, the Hong Kong Filmography series is a chronological, year-by-year account of the feature films and documentaries produced in Hong Kong. Another key area of focus is our Oral History Project, for which we conduct interviews with a great number of film industry veterans. The recordings of such interviews are archived as an important part of the Archive's collection, and at the same time, some of them are collated as part of the Oral History publication series. The Movie Talk series and other published monographs highlight the work from scholars and film experts. They are either based on seminars or scholarly contributions. In addition to the above, the Archive website also has various e-publications focusing on a wide range of topics, as well as house programmes and Newsletter, a periodical publication that reports on the goings-on at the Archive. These resources are available for free to the general public. We also regularly update the Hong Kong Film Search and Hong Kong Filmmakers Search featured on our website, so as to provide easy access and reliable information to anyone studying Hong Kong cinema.
Acquisition is one key aspect of the Archive's front-line work. It traces the history of Hong Kong film from its inception to the present, reflecting the historical development of local film companies, studios, theatres, film processing laboratories, as well as the pattern of overseas distribution.
Please click here to learn more about Donation, Archival Collection and Archival Gems on Loan Scheme.
The Museums Collection Management System newly-launched by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has replaced the existing collection management systems of the Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Hong Kong Museum of History with the aim of enhancing sharing of collection resources amongst the museums, and facilitating public access to information on museum collections.
As the frontline technical support unit, the Systems Unit renders on-site assistance to patrons encountering problems when using our workstations at the Resource Centre. It also stays in close contact with the LCSD's other museums, Information Technology Office and hardware/software maintenance contractors and suppliers to ensure the proper functioning of our computer systems.
Administration and Venue Management Unit
The Administration and Venue Management Unit are responsible for the daily operations and facility hiring of the Archive, as well as the provision of administrative support to the respective sections. We are dedicated to providing useful facilities and a comfortable environment for film researchers and the general public. We also organize Customer Liaison Meetings at regular intervals as part of our efforts to further improve our services.