What the archive contains

The BFI National Archive is a repository of an extraordinarily varied collection of film and television titles, as well as scripts, still images and publicity material.

The BFI National Archive and BFI Reuben Library collections include:

  • 60,000 fiction films, including features, on all gauges of film and formats of videotape.
  • 120,000 non-fiction films, broadly tracing the history of the use of the moving image in non-fictional settings and for non-fiction purposes.
  • An estimated 750,000 television titles, mostly from off-air recordings as seen by the viewer, as well as production and transmission material.
  • Audio and video recordings of Parliamentary proceedings (Lords, Commons and Committees).
  • 30,000 unpublished scripts, from first drafts to release scripts, mainly relating to British and American film and TV titles.
  • 30,000 pressbooks and 2000 items of cinema ephemera, such as programmes, tickets, autographed letters, promotional material and personal memorabilia.
  • 15,000 posters.
  • 600 collections of personal and company papers reflecting the history of British film and television production from the earliest days to the present.
  • 1 million still images from or related to films and television programmes, including publicity material, production shots and portraits.
  • 3000 production and costume designs.
  • 3000 animation cels.
  • 51,000 books.
  • 7000 journal titles, trade and academic, including many hundreds of thousands of volumes and issues.
  • 1 million periodical article citations.
  • 4 million newspaper cuttings.

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