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Finding and Using 16mm Films

This guide provides an overview of the 16mm films located in the Pratt Libraries collection and how to care for them.

Searching and Browsing 16mm Films

How to Browse the Collection

  • Come into the library and ask to see the black binder that is an alphabetical list of all films in the collection.
  • Browse a Selection of Films in PrattCat. (Includes only cataloged titles that may be borrowed or used on site.) At any time you may type an asterisk (*) into "any field" and search on material type "16mm" to search all 16mm entries in the catalog - sort by "title" for alphabetical search. 
  • Browse a searchable PDF including all 16mm holdings. Check to see if the title you are interested in is in the Pratt catalog. If it's not, send an email to requesting that we process a film print. It will take 1-2 weeks. 
  • Please send an email to for further inquiries. Please Note that the information about the individual titles has not been completely vetted.)  
  • A selection of the 16mm films in the Library's collection can be accessed through VMR's YouTube Channel. Find a selection of our playlists below!


16mm Certification Session

In order to start circulating the many prints available to borrow from the Pratt Collection, a patron must complete the 16mm Certification Session with a VMR staff member. To set up an appointment, patrons are asked to email The sessions typically last 30-45 minutes and can be scheduled around staff/patron schedule needs between 9am and 5pm Monday - Friday. If a patron's schedule precludes this scheduling, they are encouraged to email so that the VMR might determine how best to accomodate. 

16mm Circulation Policies 

Patrons may borrow up to two unique titles of any size film for a non-renewable period of 7 days. For titles with multiple reels, VMR will allow relevant reels to circulate at once. 

Late fees for films are $5.00 per day, per print

Elmo 16-CL projectors currently circulate for 1 day Monday-Friday. As the Equipment Loan Office is closed on the weekends, any equipment borrowed on a Friday will be due the following Monday. All projectors due back by 1pm the following weekday

Late fees for projectors are $12.00 per day.

See the Library's Borrowing Policies for more information.

16mm Carrying Cases 

VMR offers durable cases for transporting circulating prints and projectors to and from the library. The print cases come in all available reel sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL) and carry between 2-3 reels per case. Every case comes with a sized take-up reel. The projector cases include a 38mm lens, a spare bulb for both the projector and the exciter lamp, an extra take-up reel, and a manual for Elmo 16-CL projectors. Please note that the entire kit weighs approximately 30 lbs, but has a handle and wheels.


image of film reel circulation case

image of projector circulation case


Copyright issues can come into play when dealing with films and making them accessible to the public.

Any film published before 1923 is in the public domain. Anything after 1923 is potentially not in the public domain. You must find the rights holder of film before you can show it to the public.

If you are in an academic setting, showing it for educational purposes, you may be able to claim fair use. Please see the following resources to help you determine whether or not you can claim fair use, or have to find a rights holder.

Columbia University Libraries/ Information Services Copyright Advisory Office. (n.d.).

Copyright Help