The Imperial War Museum(IWM) in London will receive the 2002 International Documentary Association(IDA) Preservation and Scholarship Award at the 18th annual IDADistinguished Documentary Achievement Awards on Dec 13 in Los Angeles. Themuseum's keeper of the film and video archives Roger Smither will acceptthe award.

Founded in 1917, the IWM wasmandated by Parliament to collect and preserve footage documenting World War Iand has since collected some 120 million feet of film and 10,000 hours ofvideotape dating back to the Second Boer War in the late 1890s and extendingthrough contemporary times.

'The collectionincludes news, documentary and propaganda films from official sources andindividuals in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and othercountries,' said Smither in a statement. 'If you screened thecontents of our library 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take morethan a year and two weeks to review all of it.'

The IWM regularly presentsfilms from its archives at its own 160-seat cinema, and it also provides aprivate screening room and other viewing facilities for researchers. Thearchives also support educational programs at other museums, film festivals andschools.

'The Imperial WarMuseum has preserved tens of millions of feet of film that are unique recordsof events that shaped world history during the past century,' said IDAPresident Michael Donaldson. 'The Museum's archive is anincomparably valuable resource for scholars, students and filmmakers. Thededication of the IWM staff ensures that these irreplaceable records of ourhistory will endure.'