Black Film Center & Archive

About Black Film Center & Archive

The Black Film Center & Archive was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFCA's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. Information about the BFCA, and its collections and programs, is available on its website at

For more information, visit the Black Film Center & Archive.


Gugler Film Collection

Josef Gugler African and Middle Eastern Film Collection

The Gugler collection contains a variety of formats such as posters, handbills, flyers, lobby and window cards, and postcards used to promote films created by and featuring African and Middle Eastern filmmakers and artists. The items represent a wide range of countries throughout these regions and include nearly 1200 posters and 12 boxes of smaller sized promotional items representing over 500 unique works by approximately 350 filmmakers. French and German releases of films are particularly well represented, but a large number of items are also in Polish, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, and various other languages. More information on the Gugler collection is available at:

Black Filmmakers Photograph Collection

Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Photograph Collection

This collection includes photographs documenting the activities of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame as well as images used to publicize film screenings and during presentations at its various events. The Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame (BFHFI) was founded in 1974 as part of a series dedicated to Black pioneers and hosted by the Oakland Museum of California’s Culture and Ethnic Affairs Guild. The celebration of pioneering films stars proved immensely popular and became an annual collaboration between the guild and the University of California Berkley. Events included a month-long film and lecture series followed by an annual Black History Month Celebration weekend that included a film competition, film symposium, and the Oscar Micheaux Awards Ceremony (1974-1993). By 1978, the BFHFI’s activities outgrew the resources and energy of the staff at the museum and so it became incorporated as a separate, non-profit organization in 1978. In addition to the celebration events in January and February, the BFHFI also sponsored and hosted master classes, workshops, film screenings, and other educational events throughout the year. 1990 marked the start of Black Filmworks (last held 2003), a film festival designed to showcase the winning submissions to the annual film competition. Inductees and awardees included celebrities and notable filmmakers such as Paul Robeson, Stepin Fetchit, Gordon Parks, Sammy Davis Jr., Diahann Carroll, Dizzy Gillespie, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Julie Dash, Spike Lee, Brock Peters, Maya Angelou, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jim Brown, Madame Sul-Te-Wan, Richard Pryor, and many others. Additional items from and information about the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame is available in the finding aids for the collections donated by Mary Perry Smith and Belva Davis and William Moore.

BFCA General Collection

Black Film Center & Archive General Collection

This collection contains promotional materials documenting films made by or containing representations of black filmmakers, actors, scholars, and artists. Formats include lobby cards, handbills, film and event posters, promotional film and production stills, documentation of events hosted by the Black Film Center/Archive, and other visual media. Although the bulk of the material in this collection was purchased by the Black Film Center/Archive, also represented are commercial items from a number of special collections held at the BFC/A including the Edward Mapp Collection (COL 1), FESPACO Collection (COL 12), Richard E. Norman and Race Filmmaking Collection (COL 16) and several others. The source of a specific item is identified by the “Collection Number” and/or the “Donor Name” fields. In some cases, additional information about a specified collection is obtainable by following the link for the associated finding aid.