Research viewing services

If you wish to view a title for research, we may be able to help.

If a title is not available commercially, or available to view in the BFI Reuben Library, BFI Mediatheques or through archive resources online and you wish to view it for study, please contact our research viewing service. This service is available to non-commercial researchers and to students wishing to view research related material.

Use the online search facility to find the titles for your research. Film or video items that are currently available, have been allocated with a status of Viewing – and could be made available for viewing using our onsite facilities. Viewings take place by appointment only.

Using the contact form, please provide full details of your intended research and include item reference numbers of the viewing material that you wish to view. Please note, at least three weeks’ notice is recommended for all bookings.

We are not able to supply copies (DVD or digital) of titles in the collection, due to possible copyright restrictions and high volume aggregate costs.

Viewing sessions, using Steenbeck table viewers for film and VHS/DVD players with headphones for video, both of which are under your control, are organised at BFI premises, 21 Stephen Street, London, W1T 1LN, between 10.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

We may offer digital access to some titles, this viewing session would be held at the BFI’s Reuben Library, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT, between 10.30am and 3pm, Tuesday to Friday. Headphones provided.

In certain circumstances we may be able to arrange research viewings at some of the UK’s regional film archives.

Viewing fees are charged at the following rates:

  • £16.00 per hour of running time + VAT for film / digital file from film source
  • £11.00 per hour of running time + VAT for video / DVD / digital file from video source

For fulltime students at UK and EU universities, OAPs and unwaged:

  • £10.00 per hour of running time + VAT for film / digital file from film source
  • £7.00 per hour of running time + VAT for video / DVD / digital file from video source

Note: Fees are based on running times, i.e. the actual duration of the films/TV programmes booked for viewing, and not the time spent studying the material. However as space is limited, you may be allocated a fixed time slot for your viewing. A minimum charge of one hour applies on all rates. Fees are calculated per half hour where the runtime exceeds one hour.

BFI Research viewing service
21 Stephen Street
London, W1T 1LN
Tel 020 7957 4726
Contact form

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