German History and its Digital Memory in Moving Images

Transit Film GmbH and Digital Collections are happy to cooperate with the German Federal Archives and offer our target audience film, television and the press federally owned films for commercial exploitation. This cooperation honours both the statutory mandate of the Federal Archives and the historical background of the film material.

As a project partner and principal of Transit Film GmbH the German Federal Archives are responsible for the digitization of about 500 hours of film material, of which 100 hours are in HD, as well as the digitization of the entire index information of these films. Transit Film GmbH runs the website with the objective to enable worldwide access, further development and preservation of the film material. In addition Transit Film GmbH provides the following services on behalf of the German Federal Archives:

  • Clipping service (production of analogue and digital reproductions from 35mm material and quality control of the outgoing and incoming master copies as well as their regeneration/recycling)
  • Diagnosis and preparation of the master copies for the digitization
  • Appropriate storage of 35mm media.

Transit Film will supply the users with all technical deliveries via its partner ARRI Film & TV.

To reach the German Federal Archives and Transit Film directly please use the contact form.

For additional information on the use of this website click here.



As an upper level federal agency the German Federal Archives are subordinate to the Chancellery Culture State Secretary, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. The German Federal Archives’ statutory mandate is the permanent preservation of federal archival documents (files, papers, maps, images, posters, films audio recordings and machine-readable data) and to make them available for use. The German Federal Archives decides whether these documents should be preserved for research purposes for the understanding of German history, the safeguarding of reasonable citizen concerns or the provision of information for legislation, administration and jurisdiction.


Transit Film GmbH was founded in 1966 and has already been appointed to exclusively manage the worldwide commercial exploitation of Federal Archives film documents, with a predominant focus on works up to 1945. These include silent and sound news reels of the Deulig news, Meester news, Ufa news, Terra news, Tobis news, Elmelka audio news, Deutsche Wochenschau and documentary films. Transit Film also exploits its own film stock, which includes federally owned films as well as titles, whose rights Transit Film has acquired. Transit Film focuses on international licensing, including feature and documentary films and pictorial documents.



Digital Collections (DC) specialize in the development and distribution of high-availability Media Asset Management Systems that organize, administer, classify and process millions of digital data, such as texts, images, illustrations, videos and audio files. In conjunction with applied research and the advancement of intelligent search technologies their ever-growing databases can be utilized in a media neutral and centralized way on the internet or the intranet. DC has installed about 180 systems on five continents, dealing mostly with publishing companies, the public sector and the industrial sector.