The National Film and Sound Archive is the national audiovisual archive, playing a key role in documenting and interpreting the Australian experience and actively contributing to the development of Australia's audiovisual industry. The NFSA collects, stores, preserves and makes available screen and sound material relevant to Australia's culture.
The National Film and Sound Archive was created in 1984 as a collecting institution, combining film, sound and video material in one audiovisual archive and operated as a semi-autonomous agency within various Australian Government Departments responsible for the Arts. This role had previously been carried out by the National Historical Film and Speaking Record Library (part of the then Commonwealth National Library). The NHFSRL had been established by a Cabinet decision on 11 December 1935. The National Film and Sound Archive was created as a separate Commonwealth collecting institution and a Council was established to guide the institution.
In June 1999 the NFSA became known as ScreenSound Australia (q.v.), and in July 2003 the agency became a Division of the Australian Film Commission. The name reverted back to National Film and Sound Archive in December 2004.
The NFSA was established as a statutory authority with effect from 1 July 2008.