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The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive is dedicated to the preservation and research of Jewish documentary films. The archive is jointly administered by the Abraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Central Zionist Archives of the World Zionist Organization (WZO). 
The archive was established in the late 1960s by Professor Moshe Davis and other historians of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The archive was originally called the Avraham Rad Jewish Film Archive for a number of years. In 1973, the WZO designated the archive as the official depository for its films. Since 1988, the archive has been named after the Jewish-American filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose foundation partially finances archive activities. In 1996, the archive moved to its present premises at the university's faculty of humanities on Mount Scopus.
The archive holds approximately 16,000 titles: about 4,500 films, over 9,000 videos on various formats and roughly 600 DVDs are cataloged. The collection deals with a variety of Jewish subjects: Jewish history, the establishment of the State of Israel, immigration, Jewish communities in the Diaspora and the relationships between them and Israelis. The films come from diverse sources: primarily the WZO and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem but also other public bodies, such as the Jewish National Fund and private sources that either donate or deposit their films – mainly documentary filmmakers and their families. In addition, the archive possesses a number of collections deposited by various kibbutzim. The Steven Spielberg Archive holds the copyright for the films produced by its founding institutions – i.e., the WZO and the Hebrew University – and is authorized to sell user rights to broadcasting and production companies and all other interested parties. The films are kept in temperature controlled vaults, facilitating their preservation, as much as possible, in optimal conditions. Movies can be watched on 16 mm and 35 mm viewing tables, and on video players in U-Matic, Betacam, VHS, DVCAM, Mini DV, Super VHS and Betamax.
Viewers will receive a tangible and extensive picture of the development of the Jewish nation and the State of Israel during the 20th century until the present. The varied and rich collection contains several definitive moments in the history of the State and the Jewish people in the Diaspora: for example the "First Film of Palestine" depicts life during Ottoman rule in 1911; the film "Five Cities" in which five central Jewish communities were filmed in Poland, provides a concrete and chilling testament to the vibrant Jewish life existing there a few months before the Holocaust; the film "The Day Came" which describes the establishment of the State on 14 May 1948, includes the famous scene of the Declaration of Independence by David Ben-Gurion; there is also film of the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Chaim Herzog, furiously tearing up the General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism.
Viewers can also see the establishment of different communities, both before and after the establishment of the State. Hadassah Organization presents the nascent medical profession in Israel. Films produced by the Hebrew University throughout the years, show not only the development of the University but also the changing face of Jerusalem. The film "Edge of the West" brings images of the Jews of Morocco, including poignant scenes of residents of an entire small Jewish village leaving on their way to Israel. In addition, influential Jewish figures, such as Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Albert Einstein and Chaim Weizmann, among others, can be seen. The archive holds original copies of the Eichmann Trial, given by the American company that filmed the trial. The Israel State Archives granted the archive the right to distribute this material, after the original video reels were transferred to digital cassettes.