BFI National Archive

BFI National Archive

BFI National Archive

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The BFI National Archive is a department of the British Film Institute, and one of the largest film archives in the world. It was originally set up as the National Film Library in 1935; its first curator was Ernest Lindgren. In 1955 its name became the National Film Archive, and in 1992, the National Film and Television Archive. It was renamed BFI National Archive in 2006.

It collects, preserves, restores and then shares the films and television programmes which have helped to shape and record British life and times since cinema was invented in the late nineteenth century. The majority of the collection is British material but it also features internationally significant holdings from around the world. The Archive also collects films which feature key British actors and the work of British directors.

The collections themselves are accommodated on several sites. The J. Paul Getty, Jr. Conservation Centre in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, named after its benefactor, is the base for much of the work, while approximately 140 million feet of flammable nitrate film is kept separately at a BFI storage site at Gaydon in Warwickshire.

Film preservation is an ongoing project among filmmakers, historians, archivists, museums, and non-profit organisations to rescue aging film stock and preserve recorded images. The collections held at the BFI National Archive were started in 1935 by Ernest Lindgren, the first curator of what was then called the National Film Library. It later changed its...
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