Anthology Film Archives

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Coordinates: 40°43′29″N 73°59′24″W / 40.724663°N 73.990132°W / 40.724663; -73.990132

Anthology Film Archives
Anthology Film Archives Logo.gif
Anthology Film Archives.jpg
Anthology's 2nd Avenue building
Anthology Film Archives is located in New York City
Anthology Film Archives
Location of Anthology Film Archives in New York City
Established November 30, 1970; 44 years ago (1970-11-30)
Location 32 Second Avenue
Manhattan, NY 10003
Coordinates 40°43′29″N 73°59′24″W / 40.724663°N 73.990132°W / 40.724663; -73.990132
Type Archive & Theater
Public transit access New York City Subway: Second Avenue (NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg train)
New York City Bus: M15 and M21

Anthology Film Archives is an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video, with a particular focus on independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema. The film archive and theater is located at 32 Second Avenue on the corner of East Second Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is one of the largest archives of avant-garde and experimental cinema in the world and is the only non-profit organization of its kind in New York City, independent through self-support. Anthology screens nearly 1,000 public programs annually; features weekly in-person appearances by artists with their work; and publishes historical and scholarly books and catalogs. Anthology maintains an invaluable collection of approximately 20,000 films and 5,000 videotapes and preserves 25-35 films each year with more than 900 titles preserved to date. Anthology's research library holds the world's largest collection of paper materials documenting the history of American and international film and video as art, and is accessed weekly by students, scholars, researchers, writers, artists, and curators.

Lithuanian artist Jonas Mekas, one of the founders of Anthology Film Archives


Anthology evolved from roots and visions that date from the early 1960s, when Jonas Mekas, the founder and director of the Film-makers’ Cinematheque, a showcase for avant-garde films, dreamed of establishing a permanent home where the growing number of new independent and avant-garde films could be shown on a regular basis. This dream became a reality in 1969 when Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas drew up plans to create a museum dedicated to the vision of the art of cinema as guided by the avant-garde sensibility. A Film Selection committee – James Broughton, Ken Kelman, Peter Kubelka, Jonas Mekas, and P. Adams Sitney – was formed to establish a definitive collection of films (The Essential Cinema Repertory) and to determine the structure of the new institution.

Anthology opened on November 30, 1970 at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater with Jerome Hill as its sponsor. After Hill’s death in 1974, Anthology relocated to 80 Wooster Street in SoHo. Pressed by the need for more adequate space, it acquired Manhattan’s Second Avenue Courthouse building in 1979. Under the guidance of the architects Raimund Abraham and Kevin Bone and at a cost of $1,450,000, the building was adapted to house two motion picture theaters, a reference library, a film preservation department, offices, and a gallery, opening to the public on October 12, 1988. At the Courthouse, Anthology found an ideal home as a chamber museum, dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of independent and avant-garde film.

In 1998 New York University film students began NewFilmmakers,[1] which became a popular weekly series having screened many thousands of documentary, short, and feature films.

Notable Artists Represented in the Collection[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the 2004 film Spider-Man 2, the Anthology Film Archives building was used as the exterior of Doctor Octopus' laboratory.



External links[edit]