Getting started

NFB Archives has helped audiovisual storytellers find the perfect shot for decades.

Here’s a quick guide that explains the different features of our new web platform.

Search our footage collection

Advanced search

Search through our vast collection of stock footage by using keywords or specific shot IDs.

The site will search the information entered in the main search fields (general, location, year). It will then sort the results in order of importance, starting with the footage that combines all or most of the information entered. The search tool will be looking for the different term(s) within the shot description, the film title related to a shot, or the related terms.

Special characters

You can use certain special characters to be more precise in your search; see below for the list and some examples.

Character Operation Example Description
" " Search a specific group of words "Queen Victoria" Without the quotes you would find all the shots related to both terms (“Queen” and “Victoria”), but with the quotes you will only find the shots that use the exact phrase “Queen Victoria.”
* Prefix query Franco* Would find all shots about Francophones, Franco-Ontarians, and even about General Franco, and more.


Filters will appear on the left of your search results, and will adapt to the current search and show only values taken from the results. Clicking on any of the filters will focus the results to only the clips that use that filter. For instance, searching “Vancouver” and clicking on the “Snowing (10)” filter under Weather Conditions will allow you to see all the clips we have of Vancouver under the snow.

NFB account

Creating a free NFB account is the first step to managing your projects, saving your selected shots and sending your request orders.

Please note that your new account can also be used on our main platform. We’ve installed a “single sign-on” authentication feature so that you can use a single account for all of our services.

Click here if you need help managing your NFB account.

Already had an NFB Archives account?

Rest assured that all accounts and clipbins from our older platform were transferred to the new one.

Log in to your account using the same email address and create a new password. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be able to get back to your projects and access your clipbins right away.


You can manage multiple projects and save selected shots in clipbins. Once they’ve been created and saved to your account, you will be able to share clipbins with colleagues or send a licence request to our sales team to start the ordering process.

Ordering process

Here’s how our ordering process works: send us your footage request with a message explaining your planned usage, and we’ll get back to you shortly to complete the licensing and transfer process.

At any point you can contact us to discuss your needs.

Check pricing

You can use our Pricing Calculator to estimate the cost of your order request based on the type of licensing you will need.

Order request

Add selected shots to your cart, then hit “Start order request.” Fill in your full name and instructions (message) for our sales agents in the online form, and hit “Send.” A sales agent will contact you in the next 1–3 business days in order to complete your request.

Request history

Once you are signed in, you can easily access your previous order requests and see the shots they were related to.