About the Arctic and Barents Documentary Film database

This database contains information on approximately 35 000 documentary films from the Barents region, mainly from Murmansk Oblast, Arkhangelsk region and Finnish Lapland. Information in database is mainly in English, but Authors and Orignal Titles are mentioned also in Russian and in Finnish accordingly.

Detailed information with scene by scene description and a preview is available from more than 1000 digitised films. Films are from the collections of TV Murman, TV Pomorye Archangelsk and YLE Finland.

The digitised films can be viewed at the library of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. The database is built and maintained by the Information Service of the Arctic Centre.

The Afbare project (Arctic Documentary Films at Risk in Barents Region: Surveying, Protecting, and Screening, 2002-2006)

The value of film as a historical document was recognized already at the turn of the 20th century, when it was suggested that all anthropological museums should have a film archive in their collections. However, a significant part of the audiovisual culture of that time has disappeared or damaged. Consequently, there are many rolls of films in film archives and museums in the area known as the Barents region. Most of these films are in danger of destruction without special measures due to their extreme sensitivity to various physical and chemical effects, and their current level of degradation.

The Afbare project aimed at promoting cultural cooperation across borders, increasing public awareness, and protecting audiovisual heritage in Europe by surveying, protecting and screening of arctic documentary films at risk in the Barents region. Priority was given to films dealing with arctic indigenous people, arctic nature, society, and exploration.

During the project old arctic documentary films at risk in the Barents region, particularly in the TV and film companies and museums in the regions of Arkhangelsk Oblast and Murmansk Oblast of Northwest Russia, but also in TV companies of Scandinavia, especially in Finland and Sweden, were preserved through converting them to Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) format. Besides, the films were catalogued into this database according to content details such as genre, title, topic, duration, year, and short content description, including technical information about the shape of the films.


For more information on the database contact:

Arto Vitikka
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
arto.vitikka (at)


Project partners