About Us

Welcome to the WPA Film Library:

A leading source of stock footage, the WPA Film Library is proud to offer one the largest and most diverse libraries in the industry.

Our customers are active in all areas of the media community and include major motion picture studios, advertising agencies, television networks, as well as corporate and educational producers.

We offer a comprehensive online experience that allows the client to search, preview, and hand-pick clips directly from our website. We’re also a full service archive with a knowledgeable and professional staff.

Our Company Mission:

Helping our clients find the perfect shot, efficiently and economically.   

The WPA Philosophy:

You can rely on WPA for high-quality footage, competitive rates, fast turnaround, and friendly service.

WPA Promise:

The WPA Film Library is committed to helping you find the shot you need, when you need it.  Let WPA Film Library’s experienced researchers and project managers guide you to finding the perfect stock footage clip.

Client List:

  • HBO Documentary Film
  • BBC Entertainment
  • National Geographic
  • History Channel
  • Discovery Communications
  • Time-Life Music
  • Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
  • Florentine Films
  • ESPN
  • Warner Brothers
  • Harpo Productions
  • Discovery Educational
  • ProQuest

Testimonials

“The WPA archive has always come through for me and for my clients. Their footage is a part of most of the documentaries on which I have worked. The staff in WPA have always gone the extra mile (and then some) for my clients and for me as a researcher. Questions are answered quickly and accurately. The WPA archive's rates are among the most fair in the United States. The WPA archive is one of the first I go to on any new documentary project on which I serve as researcher. I look forward to many more years of working with WPA and I encourage other researchers take real time to explore its vast collection.”

Rosemary Rotondi Researcher www.archivalfilmresearch.com

“We love dealing with WPA for a project's film and video clip needs; they are fast, accurate and work with us to make the project happen. A delight to work with and a model for the community.”

John Paige Research & Clearances Universal Media, Inc.

"WPA Film Library is a treasure house for filmmakers seeking stock footage. The uniqueness and depth of their collection makes it a must-stop among all the possible sources. WPA makes it easy to get screeners, and affordable to acquire rights. And it's a pleasure to work with them- they're fast, very helpful, and give your project personalized attention."

Mary Fishman Band of Sisters, Limited

History:

The WPA Film Library, founded by independent producers in 1987, began as a repository of archival and contemporary stock footage for documentaries. In 1989, the company merged with the MPI Media Group, one of the country’s oldest independent home video labels and the producer of hundreds of documentaries. Since its inception, the WPA Film Library has grown into one of the world’s leading footage sources, offering tens of thousands of hours of high-quality vintage and contemporary images, and it has become a leading online stock footage resource.

A particular strength of WPA Film Library is a series of Music Collections covering many genres, such as the classic pre-MTV music television shows Hullabaloo and Music Scene. WPA Film Library’s Music Collection also features country and western star Willie Nelson’s TV library, which includes The Porter Wagoner Show, Pop Goes the Country, and The !!! Beat. WPA exclusively represents the innovative Soul! Series which was recorded in the early 1970s and features music, interviews, and poetry by African American icons like Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, and Stevie Wonder.

A client favorite is the Color Stock Collection from the 1950s which documented Americana lifestyle images in luminous color, along with hundreds of vintage training films, funny video clips, home movies dating back to the 1920s, and classic commercials. Various independent cinematographers contribute gorgeous contemporary footage of nature as well as cultural landmarks on a regular basis.

Recent additions to the WPA Film Library include film footage on the spiritual, ecological, and economic significance of water, footage of Afghanistan, and coverage of late 1980s celebrities on the red carpet.   

Much of WPA Film Library’s original and first generation digital and analog masters, including 16mm and 35mm film, are maintained on-site. Complete in-house editing services allow us to offer superior quality footage and fast turn-around.

Collections Info

Overview

The WPA Film Library owns or represents over one hundred different collections:

  • film, video, and HD
  • contemporary and archival material
  • professional cinematography and home movies
  • exclusive music performances, quirky ephemera, and iconic moments of history

Contemporary Footage

Wildlife, Landmarks, and Cultures around the World

In addition to historical footage, WPA offers contemporary stock shots from around the world - on HD, film, or high-quality video.

  • Beautiful 35mm and/or HD footage of contemporary landmarks all over the globe, from the white sand beaches of the Philippines to the Las Vegas Strip; from urban landmarks like Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower to natural settings like Arches National Park and Japan’s bamboo forests.
  • World religions and cultures: Footage revolving around religious practices and sites, such as a Bar Mitzvah at the Wailing Wall, monastic recitations in Burma, and voodoo ceremonies in Haiti; plus slices of life from Afghanistan to Australia, Brazil to Bhutan, China to Cuba.
  • Contemporary wildlife, with over 800 species from six continents as well as gorgeous underwater footage.
  • Water, the Drop of Life: Footage from the PBS series on global water usage & challenges. Shot on film, this collection includes landmarks, people, and wildlife from around the world.

Archival Footage

Music Collections

 WPA exclusively represents some of the greatest television shows of the 1960s and ’70s, with legendary performers as well as more obscure ones.

  • Hullabaloo and Music Scene: These two shows hosted all the big pop stars of the 1960s, such as The Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Petula Clark, Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Marvin Gaye, Lesley Gore, Herman’s Hermits – plus important but less famous names like Buffy St. Marie, Pete Seeger, and Ramsey Lewis.
  • Soul! (1967-73): Candid interviews and discussions about the African American experience as well as great performances. Icons like Muhammad Ali, Stevie Wonder, Harry Belafonte, Patti LaBelle, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Gladys Knight, Sidney Poitier, Ashford & Simpson, Tito Puente, and many more appeared on this show. [Special permission required to use this collection.]
  • The !!! Beat: R&B and soul performers like Etta James, Otis Redding, Little Milton, Esther Phillips, and Lou Rawls.
  • Classic country shows including The Porter Wagoner Show, The Dolly Show, and Pop Goes the Country feature stars like Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, and Mickey Gilley. Hundreds of episodes exist in this collection.
  • Liberace’s 1950s television show began in 1952 as a summer replacement for the Dinah Shore Show; by 1954, The Liberace Show was syndicated and televised in 217 U.S. cities and in 20 countries.
  • Classic performances from the 1940s and ’50s: Legends from Frank Sinatra to Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington to Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee to the Dorsey Brothers.

Archives of WETA-TV

  • This collection features extensive coverage of American politics, particularly in the 1980s and early 2000s, from the Washington-area PBS affiliate.
  • Thousands of hours of Congressional Hearings: Watergate, Whitewater, Iran-Contra, JFK Assassination, Church Committee, Supreme Court Justice nominations, and more.
  • Presidential press conferences and speeches.
  • Topical programs & documentaries covering issues like AIDS, gun control, censorship, bioterrorism, race relations, elections, etc.

1950s Americana & Home Movies

  • The Color Stock Collection (1945-1970s) documents mid-century American domestic life, suburbia, parades, amusements, and industry. This collection was shot in luminous Kodachrome on 16mm and 35mm.
  • Home movies are available in B&W and in color from the 1920s to the 1960s. Common themes include holidays, weddings, vacations & travel, children’s birthdays, and candid scenes around the home. Some of the collections’ quirkier moments include sausage making, UFO conventioneers, a 1930s C-section delivery (it’s a boy!), and a 1950s family dancing their version of the Charleston.
  • Vintage travelogues of the American West, National Parks, Hawaii, and Europe chronicle the tourism explosion that followed the end of World War II.

Historic Auto Racing

  • Originally captured on color 16mm film, this unique collection spans the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s and covers high-profile races, legendary drivers, and celebrities involved with motor sports.
  • NASCAR stockers, NHRA dragsters, IRL Indy racecars like the hydrofoil, soap box, midget car, motocross, Baja, Can-Am, and motorcycle racing are featured.
  • Racing legends such as Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, A.J. Foyt, Lee Roy Yarbrough, Don ‘The Snake’ Prudhomme, Al Unser Sr., and Dan Gurney are represented.
  • Celebrities such as Wilt Chamberlain, James Garner, John Wayne, Lorne Green, Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, Paul Newman, and many others display a profound affection for the sport.

Vintage Educational and Industrial Films

  • Campy educational, industrial, and training films from the 1950s-70s cover subjects like personal hygiene, workplace safety, health, science, social trends, sexuality, American history, and sports.
  • Classroom classics include films such as So You Want to Be a Cheerleader, LSD: Insight and Insanity, and Alcohol: What’s In It for Me?, as well as a driver’s safety film starring a young Shelley Long.
  • Vintage corporate films such as early IBM promotional material, sales training films, and TV infomercials are available.
  • Hairdressing and make-up training films from the late 1960s-70s.

Odds And Ends

  • September 11th aftermath (towers collapsing and candlelight vigils).
  • UFO testimonials from the 1950s and ’60s: Footage of outdoor UFO conventions and abduction accounts by alien abductees. Exclusive Afghanistan footage shot in the summer of 2002, including Al-Qaeda & Taliban prisoners in their cells.
  • Cars, cars, cars…: Internal footage from Chrysler from the 1950s (auto shows, factory footage, test track shots, and shots of burying a Chrysler as a time capsule to be unearthed in 2007 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) and sales and training films for Nash/AMC personnel.
  • Vintage commercials from the 1950s and ’60s.
  • 1980s London music scene footage features the Thompson Twins performing and punks hanging out in the streets.
  • 1980s celebrities on the red carpet, as well as celebs through the ages.
  • Childbirth: Contemporary footage of childbirth, pregnancy, and babies. [Special permission required to use this collection.]
  • Soviet documentaries: A unique perspective on Cold War politics as well as sports, health, the space race, WWII, and Vietnam.
  • Collected speeches are available from leaders like JFK, FDR, Churchill, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 1970s Collection: Covering 1973 fuel crisis, abortion clinic demonstrations, construction of the Sears Tower in Chicago and the World Trade Center in New York, and much more.
  • Fans at Graceland the day Elvis Presley died.
  • Wild, Weird, and Wacky: Numerous strange collections dealing with subjects from lava lamp factories to cryogenics.
  • Feature Films: Clips are available from features controlled by WPA’s parent company, the MPI Media Group (Becket, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Henry 2: Mask of Sanity, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).