Over the last 60 years we’ve assembled the world’s leading collection of moving image materials, some of it unseen for decades, and we’re adding to it all the time. The collection chronicles life in the UK and around the world since the invention of film in the late nineteenth century.
Copyright clearance is required for the supply of all third party material.
Researching archival material
There are two ways to find out what’s available to license from the BFI National Archive online.
We have a dedicated footage sales search interface to the BFI film and television database. You can search for items for which we have the rights, such as COI, Mitchell and Kenyon and Topical Budget films.
We’ve set up a database of non-BFI data inherited from the London Transport Museum, The British Tourist Authority about VisitBritain, COI about Government Films and the BUFVC about Educational and Television Films. We’ve also included some entertaining synopses written by Bernard Braden about his interviews.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch – not all the collections are fully catalogued online and we may be able to help.
BFI Archive Sales
BFI National Archive
Tel: +44 (0)1442 285274
To sign up for occasional emails about BFI footage sales, send a message through our contact form with the word ‘Subscribe’ in the message subject.
Important information about the COI film library
I am personally committed to making sure that we trade fairly in information relating to the Central Office of Information (COI) film library. To show the strength of my commitment I have asked the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) to begin the process of verifying that the organisation and decision making of the BFI support this commitment in practice.
I will insist that we strictly follow an open and transparent system of trading that meets the terms of the Competition Act 1998. My aim is that the BFI should be a world-class information provider delivering excellent services to customers in a way that benefits the UK economy as a whole. We set prices for licensing of the COI film library on a purely cost-recovery basis.
I am committed to reducing as far as possible the administrative burden on people who re-use public sector information. To this end, we place the minimum possible limitations on the re-use of information for any purpose. I will make sure that we use processes for trading information that are similar to those in the rest of the public sector.
I will tell the Controller of the OPSI about any complaints I receive alleging that the BFI has broken this commitment, and I will investigate them thoroughly. If the OPSI decides to investigate a complaint, I will allow the OPSI investigation team to see relevant staff and records.
Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO