Cataloguing & Documentation Commission

The CDC members in January 2024.


The mission of the Cataloguing and Documentation Commission is to promote the exchange of information, expertise, and materials among FIAF colleagues and others in the areas of film cataloguing and of documentation related to the cinema. We define documentation related to the cinema as any records containing information generated in the pre-production, production, publicity, distribution, exhibition and merchandising, study, and archiving of film. Film cataloguing encompasses the creation and use of guidelines, standards and rule interpretations for describing moving image collections in archives. Our goals are to survey and standardize working procedures in the areas of cataloguing and documentation in film archives, to encourage interoperability of systems, and to facilitate exchange at all levels. To achieve these goals, the members of the Commission meet regularly, conduct workshops, present and publish papers, and contribute to the Commission's ongoing projects.

Commission members revised the FIAF Cataloguing Rules, now titled the FIAF Moving Image Cataloguing Manual, which was released as an e-publication in May 2016. The Commission continues to develop the revised Glossary of Filmographic Terms, which currently offers translations in twelve languages. Commission members also regularly contribute to the International Index to Film Periodicals; the International Directory of Film/TV Documentation Collections; and Treasures from the Film Archives, which are all available via FIAF Databases Online. Past publications of the Cataloguing and Documentation Commissions include the FIAF Cataloguing Rules; the Glossary of Filmographic Terms; the FIAF Classification Scheme for Literature on Film and Television; the Bibliography of National Filmographies; and the Bibliography of FIAF Affiliates’ Publications, among many others. Most are freely available on the FIAF website.

The Cataloguing and Documentation Commission has always intended that its work should benefit both FIAF itself and international film culture in general.

You can write to the FIAF Cataloguing and Documentation Commission at cdc@fiafnet.org.

Commission Members


Adelheid Heftberger, Bundesarchiv, Berlin


Anna Fiaccarini, Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna (Deputy Head)

Murchana Borah, Film Heritage Foundation, Mumbai

Paul Duchesne, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Canberra 

Natasha Fairbairn, BFI National Archive, London

Rutger Penne, FIAF – Periodicals Indexing Project, Brussels (ex-officio)

Circe Itzel Sánchez González, independent researcher, Mexico City

Mats Skärstrand, Swedish Film Institute, Stockholm

Elżbieta Wysocka, independent researcher, Berlin/Warsaw

Corresponding Members:

Ladislav Cubr (Národní filmový archiv); Josephine Diecke (University of Marburg); Georg Eckes (Bundesarchiv, Berlin); Nancy Goldman (Berkeley); Hélène Kaizer (Centre national de l'audiovisuel, Luxembourg); Katerina Kampoli (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, Paris); Nancy Kauffman (George Eastman Museum, Rochester); Stephen McConnachie (BFI National Archive, London); Torbjørn Pedersen (National Library of Norway); Siobhan Piekarek (independent researcher, Potsdam); Maria Assunta Pimpinelli (Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia / Cineteca Nazionale, Rome); Simone Venturini (Università di Udine); Martine Vignot (Cinémathèque française, Paris); Julia Wallmüller (Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin); and Leon van Wissen (University of Amsterdam).

FIAF Executive Committee Interlocutor: Mikko Kuutti

CDC Task Forces

Cataloguing Film Related Objects Task Force

Rapporteurs: Mats Skärstrand and Siobhan Piekarek

Besides film and/or literature most film archives and libraries also have other materials relating to film in their collections. This can be for instance manuscripts, posters, stills, documents and objects. Due to the great variety of materials, there are few guidelines on how to manage this kind of collections, at least relation to film. The CDC Task Force for Cataloguing Film Related Objects aims to collect best practice routines on how to systematize different kind of film related materials and how to relate them to relevant cinematographic works or agents.


Linked Open Data Task Force

Rapporteur: Adelheid Heftberger

The Linked Data Task Force was created to investigate how data relevant to film archives can be linked and made accessible. Linked Open Data refers to a specific family of W3 standards for linking data between different sources, enabling queries across larger data sets than are generally held in any one institution. The Task Force members have committed to writing an ontology consistent with the FIAF Cataloguing Manual and the CEN 15907 structure. Aside from this ontology, the group is looking into how value lists and controlled vocabularies can be integrated into both resources to provide standardisation to facilitate interoperable data exchange. Other related sub-projects include how sources like Wikidata might be useful for film archives, and how vocabularies may be derived from existing archival corpora.


Manual Task Force

Rapporteurs: Natasha Fairbairn and Circe Itzel Sánchez González

The Manual Task Force completed its initial remit and tasks to “define and propose a methodology and structure for a 5-year formal revision update plan for the FIAF Moving Image Cataloguing Manual, including soliciting feedback in advance from the community, with deadline”. Due to external factors impacting that plan and deadline subsequently, the Task Force has now renewed further post-survey work connected with the revision of the Manual. This includes further analysis of results and gathering documents and examples from other institutions regarding key areas identified as needing enhancement in a new edition.

Preservation/Restoration Documentation Task Force

Rapporteurs: Maria Assunta Pimpinelli and Elżbieta Wysocka

The Preservation/Restoration Documentation Task Force aims to define a standardized approach to the documentation of film preservation / restoration activities, taking into account the different workflow steps, such as preliminary research, analysis, comparison of film materials, cultural and technical choices, up until the description of the resulting restored elements. The idea is to organize and harmonize all the data coming from a given project, proceeding from a selective survey of the best practices currently in use in film archives and laboratories and combining them with tools and standards provided by both the Cataloguing and Documentation Commission and the Technical Commission.

Special Collections Directory Task Force

Rapporteur: Anna Fiaccarini

The Special Collections Directory Task Force was set up to supervise a modernization of the International Directory of Film and TV Documentation Collections, a database first published in print (from 1976 to 1994), and later (from 1994 to 2008) in electronic format. The Task Force aims to relaunch the database under the name International Directory of Film related Collections and Libraries as an online tool which will enable FIAF affiliates to update information on their documentation collections directly on the Internet.


Treasures Task Force

Rapporteur: Rutger Penne

The Treasures Task Force was set up to supervise the modernization of the Treasures from the Film Archives database, which contains unique information about silent-era film holdings in film archives around the world. In order to migrate the legacy database from Filemaker to a browser-based system using open-source components, a ‘Software Development Request for Proposal’ was distributed. Since October 2021 the Treasures Task Force is working with Digital Bedrock for the development work.