Amet 35mm Magniscope, 1896. Gift of The American Film Institute.

The Museum maintains the nation's largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to the art, history, and technology of the moving image—one of the most important collections of its kind in the world. Begun at the Museum's inception in 1981, today the collection comprises approximately 130,000 artifacts.

This rich and extensive collection is an invaluable resource for both the general public and for scholars, benefiting anyone who takes an interest in the history and culture of the moving image. The collection includes artifacts from every stage of producing, promoting, and exhibiting motion pictures, television, and digital media. Holdings include licensed merchandise, technical apparatus, still photographs, design materials, costumes, games, fan magazines, marketing materials of all kinds, video and computer games, and movie theater furnishings. Over 1,400 of these objects are currently on display in the Museum's core exhibition, Behind the Screen.