Libraries and Archives

The following is a snapshot of some of the organisations that offer film libraries and archives

  • Inside the BFI's National Film and Television Archive

Inside the BFI's National Film and Television Archive

BBC Motion Gallery
BBC Motion Gallery is the BBC's agent for licensing all footage from its vast archive, with over 50,000 clips online for customers to search and download at To complement the core collection, BBC Motion Gallery is also the exclusive representative of the CBS News Archive and China Central Television.

BFI National Archive
The British Film Institute (BFI) is responsible for the UK's National Film and Television Archive. It also has extensive libraries of books, films, videos, stills and posters - this site explains how to access the material.

British Council Film Collection
The British Council Film Collection is an archive of over 120 short documentary films made by the British Council during the 1940s designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played. Preserved by the BFI National Film Archive and digitised by means of a generous donation by Google, the films are now yours to view, to download and to play with for the first time.

British Pathe Film Archive
The world's first digital news archive. British Pathe have re-catalogued and encoded their entire 3,500 hour film archive which covers news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970. You can also license higher resolution copies of the same items for PowerPoint presentations and web publishing. All content is free of charge for use by UK Maintained Schools in the classroom.

East Anglian Film Archive
This is the moving image archive for counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Film and Video Archive at the Imperial War Museum
Online access to over 23,000 Film and Video Archive catalogue records. A large proportion of material has been transferred to the Museum from the Services and other public bodies as the Archive is the official repository for such public record films.

The Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries offers a free service finding experienced archive/film researchers to assist producers, which will probably cut down on litigation later.

Images of Empire
The commercial wing of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Images of Empire is an archive showing Britain's role in re-shaping and changing the world we live in.

ITN Source
ITN Source is the world’s leading provider of motion picture archive material, featuring over 800,000 hours of iconic film and inspiring stock footage captured over three centuries.

Media Archive For Central England
The Media Archive for Central England is the public sector moving image archive for the East and West Midlands.

National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales
The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales is responsible for safeguarding and celebrating Wales' rich audio-visual heritage. The collection comprises of over 5.5m feet of film, 250,000 hours of video, over 200,000 hours of sound recordings and thousands of tapes, records and compact discs.

Northern Regional Film and Television Archive (NRFTA)
The Northern Region Film and Television Archive (NRFTA) was founded in 1998. They are the public-sector moving image archive serving County Durham, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tees Valley and Tyne and Wear.

North West Film Archive
North West Film Archive is the professionally recognised public home for the moving image heritage of the North West of England. The online catalogue contains over 5,000 titles from the North West Film Archive's moving image collection.

Scottish Screen Archive
Founded in 1976, the main purpose of the Archive is to locate, preserve and provide access to moving images reflecting Scottish culture and history. In addition the Archive collects written and photographic materials relating to the development of cinema exhibition and film production in Scotland since the 1890s.

Screen Archive South East
Founded in 1992, Screen Archive South East serves the South East of England. The function of this regional screen archive is to locate, collect, preserve, provide access to and promote screen material related to the South East and of general relevance to screen history.

This British Film Institute website brings to life the history of British film and television, with hundreds of hours of digitised video alongside thousands of stills, posters, production designs, press and publicity materials, unpublished scripts, personal papers, recorded interviews with filmmakers and actors, and interactive timelines.

South West Film and Television Archive
The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is a registered charity dedicated to the finding, keeping and sharing of the region’s unique moving image heritage. It is currently the largest of the Regional Archives.

Wessex Film and Sound Archive
The Wessex Film and Sound Archive has records of visual and aural history, from late Victorian times to the present day. The Archive contains over 32,000 film and sound recordings relating to central southern England, including film and tapes of local TV and radio, now available to study and enjoy. The Archive also has a 85 seat cinema for group viewing and listening.

Yorkshire Film Archive
The Yorkshire Film Archive is the public access film archive for Yorkshire and the Humber. They hold over 14,000 items of film and video tape, dating from the earliest days of film making in the 1880s to the present day.