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Best practices for the cataloguing of film related materials.

Film related materials is a collective term that refers to a broad variety of objects related to cinematographic works, agents or the film industry. They have in common that they are not part of the actual film. Therefore they have often been referred to in negative terms by film archives: as non-film objects. However, since they are as important as the film itself, and often are used by researchers, publishers and others, FIAF recommend the term: “Film related materials”. The term refers to all items or records used in, or generated in the pre-production, production, publicity, distribution, exhibition and merchandising, study, and archiving of film.

The Cataloguing and Documentation Commission (CDC) has identified six basic categories of film related items. All of them common in film archive collections. They are:

Since the publication of the first FIAF cataloguing rules for film, there has been a demand for instructions of how to manage and catalogue film related items. However, due to the diversity of the material, it is not possible to create cataloguing rules as such. The CDC has instead chosen to create lists of relevant metadata to be used for the description of film related items in the collection. Each cataloguing scheme is divided in three levels of detail: “fair”, “good” and “best practice”. Individual institutions can choose their own level of description, but should of course always strive for the best. With respect to different economical as well as technical conditions, it is possible to use the metadata schemes regardless of collection management system. They will work for databases as well as card catalogues.

The metadata schemes are supplemented with value lists. The value lists can be individually adapted to reflect the collection. Controlled terminology should always be used.