Offers to the BFI National Archive

How to donate to the BFI National Archive.

What does the BFI National Archive collect?

The BFI National Archive collects British film, video and digital moving images, as well as paper collections relating to the British film and television industries. We aim to acquire all British feature films as well as selected short film, non-fiction, TV and significant artists’ moving image work.

We collect British documentaries, newsreels, industrial, corporate, educational and scientific films, political and campaigning works, public information films, advertising, trailers and amateur film and video. As the national television archive, we also acquire selected TV programmes from terrestrial and online channels. We embrace film, video and digital formats, and are keen to acquire new forms of moving image.

Our Special Collections include the papers of individuals and organisations, photographs, posters, costume and production designs, animation cels and promotional material, and many other unpublished items including scripts, storyboards and autographed letters. We collect both paper-based and born-digital materials.

You can read the BFI National Archive collections policy and find out more about our collections online.

I’d like to donate moving image to the BFI National Archive. Who should I contact?

If you hold film, video or digital materials that you are interested in donating to the BFI National Archive, please get in touch with our Curatorial Archivists to tell us about your offer.

Please provide the following information:

  • Titles of the works on offer to the collection
  • The dates that these works were made
  • Format description
    • For film, a description of the gauge (eg 35mm, 16mm, 9.5mm or 8mm), established by measuring the width of the film
    • For video, any description of tape format (eg 1” videotape, digibeta or VHS )
    • For digital material, a description of the file type (eg Pro Res, DCP)
  • The scale of the donation (number or estimated number of cans, boxes, digital files etc)
  • A brief description of the content of the material.

I’d like to donate papers to the BFI National Archive. Who should I contact?

If you hold papers or artworks that you think may be of interest to the BFI National Archive, please contact Special Collections.

Wherever possible, please provide:

  • The persons/titles that your donation relate to
  • A rough listing of content
  • The reason that you believe it may be of interest to researchers
  • The scale of the donation (this can be in boxes, folders etc)
  • Any images that may help us to understand the content or assess its condition.

Requests for copies of materials held in the BFI National Archive

Please note that the BFI National Archive is not able to provide or make available for purchase personal copies of ANY films, videos, TV programmes or digital works held in the archive, including those in which the requester or a relative featured. However, viewing materials held in the BFI National Archive can be accessed via Research Viewings.

If you or a relative made a ‘substantial contribution’ to a BBC programme (“eg credited as a performer, writer, guest or production team member”), you may be able to purchase a copy from the BBC. Find further details on the BBC website.

  • BFI National Archive

    BFI National Archive

    We care for one of the greatest collections of film and television in the world.

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