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BBC and BFI announce new partnership to bring archives to life

9 March 2009

The BBC and BFI today announced a partnership to work together to develop plans for increasing public access to their respective audio, film and TV archives.

This partnership draws on the opportunities presented by the development of digital technologies, in particular the expansion of the UK’s broadband infrastructure, which allows both the BBC and the BFI to continue to contribute to the building of Digital Britain.

The BBC and BFI’s intention is to explore new ways of making archive content and material available to all UK audiences, across the widest possible range of distribution platforms, while developing an industry standard approach to the management, storage and distribution of archive content and related assets.

The first stage of this partnership has been formalised by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which outlines key areas for joint strategic thinking, including public access, rights management and digitisation.

Roly Keating, BBC Director of Archive Content said:

"The archives of the BBC and the BFI are a great national resource, with huge potential public value. Our two organisations have a shared belief in the value of making the UK's audio-visual heritage accessible to the widest possible audience. This agreement to work together more closely is a first and vital step in realising that vision."

Amanda Nevill, Director of the BFI said:

“Film and the moving image has never been so important - it permeates everything we do today. Joining forces with the BBC makes perfect sense. We both have a shared ambition that even more people can explore the full breadth of the collections we each hold on behalf of the nation. Tantalisingly, Digital Britain has the power to make this to happen, something that would have been unimaginable even five years ago. And what’s more, we know there is huge demand. This is very exciting.”

The MOU signed by both parties is non exclusive. Both the BBC and the BFI intend that this agreement will act as a catalyst for making archive content accessible to all UK audiences and in time would seek the opportunity to work with other public archives throughout the UK to further develop the project.

Notes To Editor

Please contact Dan Maynard for any further enquires and images
Tel: 0208 008 5294
Mobile: 07912 583654

Or Nick Mason Pearson at the BFI
Mobile: 07968 747879

Explore over 80 years of UK and BBC history with the BBC Archive website. Programmes, documents and images bring the past to life and reveal forgotten stories, available to UK audiences. For more information, visit:

About the BFI

The BFI is the nation’s cultural agency for film, delivering to people everywhere through the BFI National Archive; BFI Southbank; the Times BFI London Film Festival and the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival; Sight & Sound; BFI DVDs and books; the BFI Library; film releases; education resources and online.

The BFI is funded by the UK Film Council.

For further information visit