Libraries and Archives

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

  • Many archives and libraries offer research facilities both online and in person

Many archives and libraries offer research facilities both online and in person

BBC Motion Gallery

BBC, in global partnership with Getty Images, offers an incredible online content and offline archive via the BBC Motion Gallery. From the BBC's first broadcast in 1922 up to yesterday's news, BBC Motion Gallery offers exclusive access to the world's most comprehensive collection of unique, distinctive and high quality motion imagery. Over 125,000 license-ready, online clips hand-picked from BBC programming and rushes are available to explore online via the Collection.
To complement the core collection, BBC Motion Gallery is also the exclusive representative of the CBS News Archive and China Central Television.
(Global education clip sales and short form education video licensing are managed within BBC Worldwide under the BBC Worldwide Learning brand).


BFI National Archive

The British Film Institute (BFI) is responsible for the UK's National Film and Television Archive, one of the largest film and television collections in the world. The Archive also has extensive libraries of books, films, videos, stills and posters - The website outlines the diverse content of the Archive and explains how to access material.

British Council Film Collection

The British Council Film Collection is a unique 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.


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

The first Regional Film Archive to be established in England. The EAFA collection comprises about 12,000 hours of film and up to 30,000 hours of videotape, The content mainly relates to the East of England region (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk), but also includes collections of national and international scope. The Archive is now owned and operated by the University of East Anglia (UEA), with all of the material intended and accesible for educational and cultural use.


Film and Video Archive at the Imperial War Museum
The IWM Film Archive collection covers all aspects of conflicts in which British, Commonwealth or former Empire countries have been involved since the start of the twentieth century.
The collection contains over 23,000 hours of moving images, representing a wide and diverse range of material from public and service information films, documentaries and unedited combat film, through to official newsreels and amateur films. 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.
IWM has a team of experienced film curators who offer assistance to commercial researchers and offers a website designed for the needs of commercial users, IWM Film. The Film Archive also offers a limited bespoke viewing and copying service for museums, armed forces, veterans and their immediate family, family history researchers, students and filmmakers involved with the IWM Short Film Festival.


FOCAL International
The Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries International is a professional not-for-profit trade association with the aim to facilitate the use of library footage, images, stills and audio in all forms of media production. FOCAL encourages good practise in the research, licensing, copyright clearance and use of footage and offers a free service finding experienced archive/ film researchers to assist producers.


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.


MACE Media Archive For Central England

The Media Archive for Central England (MACE) is the screen archive for the Midlands in the UK. A registered charity, MACE exists to preserve the moving images of the East and West Midlands and provide affordable public access to this material through their website, public screenings, exhibitions, educational workshops and community projects.


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.


North East Film Archive/ NEFA (formerly Northern Regional Film and Television Archive)
NEFA are the public-sector moving image archive serving County Durham, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tees Valley and Tyne and Wear. NEFA merged with the Yorkshire Film Archive in 2012.


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. Managed in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, and based at Manchester Central Library, the Archive cares for over 40,000 items from the pioneer days of film in the mid 1890s to video production of the present day. The work of both the professional and the amateur is collected. The searchable online catalogue contains over 5,000 titles from the North West Film Archive's moving image collection.


National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive (formerly 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. The Archive offers access to online films and clips and a online searchable database. 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

Screen Archive South East (SASE) is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. Founded in 1992 SASE is part of the University of Brighton and the College of Arts and Humanities. Its function is to collect, preserve, research and provide access to screen material related to this region and of general relevance to the study of screen history. The screen collection consists of magic lantern slides, film, videotape, digital formats and associated hardware and documentation, including material made by individuals, families, cine-clubs, public services, communities and companies. These records capture many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the 19th to the 21st centuries and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.



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.


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 38,000 film and sound recordings relating to central southern England (including Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire), 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 finds, preserves and provides public access to moving image made in or about the Yorkshire region. The YFA holds over 14,000 items of film and video tape, dating from the earliest days of film making in the 1880s to the present day.
A registered charity, the YFA also manages the collections held by the North East Film Archive (NEFA), as part of its charitable remit. (In July 2012, the two archives merged and now come under the Yorkshire Film Archive banner and charity). Both archives retain their regional titles, and their identities are also reflected strongly in the collections held and celebrated.