In 2003, Washington University's Film and Media Archive acquired two hundred 16mm film titles from the St. Louis Public School's Film Collection. This collection of academic or educational films mainly from the 1960's and 70's covers a wide range of subjects including African-American history, the labor movement, advertising, and social education films. This genre of film includes purely education documentaries, dramatizations of literature and history, and "guidance" films which were made to highlight social mores, or focus on safety issues. Federal funding throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's helped make this a thriving genre.
Another portion of the collection went to the St. Louis branch of the Academic Film Archive of North America. Many of these academic films are in danger of being lost and an effort is underway to preserve these films. Sample titles from the collection include, Eli Whitney; Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad; Immigrant from America; Minorities - Patterns of Change; Tribute to Malcolm X; The Labor Movement: Beginnings and Growth in America.