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Stills, posters and designs

Based at the BFI office in London, our stills collection contains over 2.5 million photos, illustrations and colour transparencies from more than 150,000 films and TV programmes.

The images capture moments on and off the screen, featuring portraits of the world’s most famous stars and the legends behind the camera who made them famous.

The collection also covers shots of studios, cinemas and special events from the birth of cinema (as early as 1896) to recent releases from all over the world.

The TV stills collection alone contains around 750,000 images and tells the story of TV from the very beginning.


We keep our posters collection in a special climate-controlled store outside London. It contains around 15,000 film posters from all over the world, dating from the early 1900s to the present day and includes newsreel posters, cinema events and some television posters.

Production and costume design

This is an amazing collection of over 3,000 original designs from renowned artists such as Julie Harris, Alfred Junge, Hein Heckroth and Paul Leni. It also includes animation cels, storyboards and sketches from productions that range from The Red Shoes and Superman, to Spellbound and Captain Pugwash.

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