Digital Edition and Archive FAQ

Find out more about Sight & Sound’s digital products:

• the Digital Edition, free for all print subscribers and including two years of back issues;

• the Digital Archive, an unparalleled 85-year archive of film commentary and criticism encompassing the entire collection of Sight & Sound and the Monthly Film Bulletin from 1932 to the present.

→ Access our desktop digital apps now


1. Sight & Sound Digital Edition

What is it?

A page-turning PDF replica of the print magazine for viewing on your desktop computer, tablet computer or mobile device. It contains interactive pages, video content, search functions and tools to save and email clippings and bookmark pages.

Do I get access to digital back issues as well?

Yes, the Digital Edition comes with two years’ worth of back issues to explore. When a new issue is published the oldest issue in the back-issue archive is removed and placed into the complete Digital Archive (see below). Only the latest issue and the most recent back issue have video content enabled.

I am a subscriber to the print magazine. How do I get access to the Digital Edition?

The Digital Edition is free for individual print subscribers – simply register an email address and password here.

To register you will need your unique subscriber number, which is printed on the cover sheet we include with your subscriber copy. If you do not have access to this please contact our Subscriptions Bureau for assistance: email; or call +44 (0)20 8955 7070.

Are all print subscribers entitled to receive the Digital Edition?

Named individuals receiving private subscriptions are entitled to the Digital Edition. Subscriptions for libraries, institutions and other shared-access environments do not include the Digital Edition. For more information email our Subscriptions Bureau at

What devices can I read the Digital Edition on?




You will be able to access the Digital Edition using a single username and password.

While all sizes are technically supported the reading experience is not optimised for smaller screen-sizes and will be less than ideal.

PLEASE NOTE: if you subscribe to the digital edition via any of these app stores rather than purchasing directly from the BFI then we are unable to give you access to the desktop version of the digital edition and archive. If you buy via an App Store then your transaction is with them and is processed via your App Store account and you will not be provided with the username and password required to access the desktop digital edition. As such your subscription will be limited to the tablet device that is registered against your app store account

How much is a digital-only subscription?

A 12-month subscription is available for £30 if purchased from our Subscriptions Bureau here.

Shorter-term subscriptions are available using the Sight & Sound App if purchased directly from the App Store, Google Play or Amazon apps. Please note that you will be charged a premium for purchasing a 12-month subscription directly from the app store.

What else should I know?

An internet connection is required to access the Digital Edition on your computer; editions cannot be downloaded.

Editions can be downloaded to your tablet for offline reading, but interactive elements such as video content and text search will not be available. Try using the full-screen and single-page view options for the best reading experience. (NB Text search is disabled when viewing in full-screen mode.)

The page number displayed at the top of your screen is not the page number of the magazine. The cover is counted as page one within the viewer.

The performance and speed of loading of the Digital Edition’s video-content and other interactive elements are affected by your browser’s cache settings and your internet connection.

You can view a sample edition on your desktop here. [Click on ‘Take a look’.]


2. Sight & Sound and the Monthly Film Bulletin Digital Archive

What is it?

The digitised archive of every issue of Sight & Sound and the Monthly Film Bulletin ever published, since 1932. Issues published prior to 2008 have been scanned from paper; subsequent issues are high-resolution digital-native PDFs.

You can view a sample edition on your desktop here. [Click on ‘Take a look’.]

Who can get access to the archives?

Access is available to Sight & Sound subscribers only, whether print or digital-only.

Only named individuals receiving private subscriptions can access the Digital Archive. Subscriptions for libraries, institutions and other shared-access environments do not include the option. For more information email our Subscriptions Bureau at

* Digital-only subscribers who purchased tablet subscriptions directly from Apple’s iTunes App Store/Newsstand, from Google Play or Amazon Appstore cannot upgrade their subscriptions to include Digital Archive access.

How much does it cost?

12 months’ access to the Digital Archive is available for an extra £20 on top of the cost of your Sight & Sound print or digital subscription. Shorter-term access is unavailable.

How do I get access to the Digital Archive?

If you are already a subscriber call our Subscriptions Bureau on +44 (0)20 8955 7070 to discuss adding access to the Digital Archive to your subscription. Alternatively email with your subscriber details and wait for a response.

You will be asked to pay an access fee proportional to the time remaining on your subscription. For example, if you have six issues remaining on your subscription your initial fee will be £10. Hence the renewal date for your Sight & Sound subscription and your access to the Digital Archive will be the same.

Access to the archives can be cancelled separately to your Sight & Sound subscription.

What devices can I access the Digital Archive from?

The Digital Archive is designed to be accessed from your PC/Mac and requires an internet connection.

You cannot access the Archive on any tablet, due to technical restrictions.

Accessing the Digital Archive via a browser on your tablet is possible but the Archive has not been optimised for this medium and will produce less than ideal results.

What else should I know?

Certain editions of both titles have been scanned from reference-copy annual volumes. As such these editions actually contain multiple issues and the page numbers run continuously through the single edition.

While great effort was made to ensure the highest-possible image quality, there is some disparity in reproduction across the Archive. All pages are legible.

The Archive is searchable by title and year of publication.

Text-search is possible across the entire archive as a result of OCR processing of the scanned archive. While search results are of a high standard they may not be completely exhaustive.

The Sight & Sound and Monthly Film Bulletin annual indexes are not currently available as part of the archives.

A sample of the Digital Archive can be viewed here. [Click on ‘Take a look’.]

Find out more

Back to the top

See something different

Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema.