1915, the Ministry of Defence set up a body dedicated to producing and
conserving photographic and film archives of the armed forces. From then
on this unique organisation was to be the specialist archivist for French
military history. Indeed, with their presence on the ground, the teams
of the Etablissement de Communication et de Production Audiovisuelle de
la Défense (ECPAD – French communication and broadcasting production
institution) follow the involvement of French troops at close quarters,
wherever they may be in the world.
pictures are used by the army staff and made available to the media. The
accounts of those known as "soldiers of the image" then go to enrich the
audiovisual archives of the armed forces. This extraordinary heritage (4
million photos and 16,500 films) is conserved and restored at Fort d’Ivry
(south-east of Paris). It is open to the public. The website, http://www.ecpad.fr/,
which recently went on line, gives a glimpse of the wealth of its collections
through a selection of exceptional photos and films.