The Film Archive obtained its collection through a donation of the ‘Stichting Vrienden van het Filmarchief van Nijmegen’ (Foundation for Friends of the film archive at the University of Nijmegen). This donation contained an extensive collection of film material, a collection of film equipment and a paper archive including (scientific) literature and film posters. This historical film collection remained in storage for several more years though, spread over several depots of the University of Groningen, till the end of 2010. 

The larger part of the collection of the Film Archive has been gathered over the years by Tjitte de Vries and Ati Mul. However, over time their private collection had grown to such an extent that they were no longer able to accommodate it themselves. As such they decided to hand over the collection to others.

For a range of reasons they chose the ‘Stichting Vrienden van het Filmarchief Nijmegen,’ which is connected to the university program ‘Film- en Opvoeringskunsten’ of the Radboud University Nijmegen. Eric de Kuyper and Emille Poppe, who were in charge of the program, already owned a small collection of films themselves that they used for education and research. Another reason was that they maintained strong relations with the Dutch Filmmuseum.

Among students and staff members who have worked in and with the archive actively—and have steadily added to it—are Frank Kessler, Jacques Post, Heide de Mare, Bregtje Lameris, Sabine Lenk, Christina Junginger, and others.