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ACMI Collection Data

Release and license

The dataset is released under the most open license available --- Creative Commons Zero. This brings the data in line with other releases from Europeana, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Tate, MOMA, and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and offers the most compatibility and clarity of use for international users.

Data formats

The collection data is provided in an aggregate TSV file, and individual JSON files. You can find the TSV file in src folder labelled collections_data.tsv. This file uses tab-separated values, similar to a comma separated values file (CSV), and can be opened in Excel.

Opening TSV in Excel

The TSV provided is in the following structure:

  • Tab delimited
  • Multi value columns use a pipe (or vertical bar) character to separate string values.
  • The file is encoded in UTF-8
  • The file does not include a BOM (byte order mask) so that it is slightly easier to use with some scripting languages.
  • This means when you open the TSV, you will likely need to set the encoding format to UTF-8.

If you are using Excel 2010, try the following steps to open the TSV file:

  1. Go to File > Open, and browse for All Files (.)
  2. Select the .tsv file, this will open up the Text Import Wizard.
  3. Set Original data type to Delimited
  4. Set File origin to 650001 : Unicode (UTF-8) (on Mac, this might just say Unicode UTF-8)
  5. Click Next
  6. Set the Delimiter to Tab, leave the others unchecked
  7. Set the Text qualifier to double quotes "
  8. Leave Column data format as General

If titles appear with strange characters displaying, double check that you have imported the file as Unicode (UTF-8)

JSON files

Individual JSON files can be found in the dist folder, under objects. The filename and directory structure is based on the system_id of the object. Sub-directories are constructed by separating the object's ID into groups of three numbers or less, starting front to back. For example the full path for Days of Echuca is /dist/objects/129/96/12996.json (System ID# 12996). This follows the pattern used by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in their data release.

Data structure

This intial data release is a flattened version of the dataset, and many database values have been aggregated for the release. The keys for each object are:

  • abstract - A short one line description of the work's content
  • acmi_identifier - An internally used identifier for the record, with a non uniform pattern. In most cases, use the system_id to uniquely identify the record instead.
  • active_carriers_public_types_and_formats_only - The format that the title is held in ACMI's collection (e.g. 16mm film, VHS, DVD)
  • audience_classification - The formal classification from the Australian Classification Board, or the ACMI provided classification for the Mediatheque. Multiple values are pipe (|) separated.
  • colour - Black and White, Colour, Tinted, or a combination (separated by a pipe character)
  • creation_date - The year (or thereabouts of production). Formats include YYYY, a range is YYYY-YYYY, approximate years are Circa YYYY, or Circa YYYY-Circa YYYY. Dates with specific month will be in MMM YYYY format. Dates with date, month and year, are in DD MMM YYYY format. Some records may carry the decade.
  • creator_contributor_role - The name of a creator and their production role in the context of this work, separated by a comma.
  • description - Free text description of the work's content.
  • form - The title's form (e.g. Short films). Child forms are described with its relationship to its parent, separated by a forward slash. (e.g. Short films/Short films - Great Britain).
  • genre - The genre or genres for the title. Child genres are described with its relationship to its parent, separated by a forward slash. (e.g. Documentary/Documentary films - Great Britain).
  • language_keywords - The primary language of any spoken content in the work.
  • length - The length of the title in hours, minutes, seconds separated by a colon. Titles with multiple lengths will be separated by a pipe character.
  • member_object - In a grouped title, member objects are the children of this work (e.g. Episodes of a television series).
  • object_relationship - A description of the member object relationship.
  • other_language_notes - Free text notes on specifics associated with other_languages.
  • other_language_type - The type of secondary languages (e.g. subtitle or intertitle).
  • other_languages - Secondary languages of any spoken content in the work.
  • other_title - Alternative titles for the work.
  • other_title_type - The type of alternative title for the work.
  • part_of_compilation_title_or_vod_package - Other part of member_object, this is the parent of the current title.
  • permalink - A permanent URL to this object as it appears on the ACMI collection website.
  • place_of_production - The place (usually country) where the work was produced, Australian content may be more specific.
  • record_type - The categorisation of the particular data structure used within the colllection management system (used administatively).
  • related_object_notes - Free text description of the nature of the related_objects relationship.
  • related_objects - Without being a part of, a relationship to another object (e.g. a sequel / prequel or a remake).
  • sound_audio - Silent vs Sound.
  • subject_group - The subject content of the work, grouped by topic.
  • system_id - A unique identifier for the record, this is a reliable unique identifier for linking this ID to other systems, and it is used in constructing URLs for the ACMI collection website.
  • title - The primary title of the work.
  • viewing_guidelines - Discretionary warnings or notices for viewers of the work, often related to the audience_classification (e.g. notices that say, the following contains course language, adult themes, etc).

Data types

Key Data type
system_id integer
permalink string
record_type string
acmi_identifier string
title string

All other properties are arrays of strings.

Example object

    "system_id": 21100, 
    "permalink": "", 
    "record_type": "Title", 
    "acmi_identifier": "001342", 
    "title": "Blue pullman", 
    "other_title": [
    "other_title_type": [
    "place_of_production": [
        "United Kingdom"
    "creation_date": [
    "creator_contributor_role": [
        "British Transport Films, production company", 
        "British Information Services, production company", 
        "Edgar H. Anstey, producer", 
        "James Ritchie, director"
    "colour": [
    "sound_audio": [
    "language_keywords": [
    "other_languages": [
    "other_language_type": [
    "other_language_notes": [
    "length": [
    "audience_classification": [
    "viewing_guidelines": [
    "form": [
        "Short films", 
        "Short films/Short films - Great Britain"
    "genre": [
        "Documentary/Documentary films - Great Britain"
    "subject_group": [
        "Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport/Railroad trains", 
        "Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport/Diesel locomotives - Great Britain", 
        "Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport/Railroads - Pullman cars", 
        "Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport/Railroads - Great Britain", 
    "abstract": [
    "description": [
        "Introduces the businessman's first class express, the new 90 m.p.h. diesel Pullman. Undergoing its preliminary trials between London and Manchester, the features of the train demonstrate themselves with almost no commentary, and the final sequence shows the train in action seen from the air, and from the driver's cabin."
    "member_object": [
    "part_of_compliation_title_or_vod_package": [
    "related_objects": [
    "object_relationship": [
    "related_object_notes": [
    "active_carriers_public_types_and_formats_only": [
        "16mm film; Limited Access Print (Section 2)", 
        "16mm film; Preservation Print (Section 5)", 
        "16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)"

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