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The COI Collection

18 January 2008

Over 70 years of Government Filmmaking from the Central Office of Information now available to licence from the BFI.

We are delighted to announce that the BFI, which holds Public Record Films on behalf of The National Archive, also now holds the COI Collection.  There is now one source for access to this vast wealth of material produced by the British Government.

It is estimated that 45,000 films have been produced in total by the British Government. Luminaries, such as Humphrey Jennings, Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Massingham, Jack Cardiff, E.M. Forster, Dylan Thomas, and Graham Greene have been contributors. Peter Greenaway worked for many years at the COI; his first film was about Eddie Kidd, Britain’s answer to Evel Knievel. There are two famous animated “Charleys” in the COI Collection. One was a dapper gent from the 40s who helped promote the Welfare State and one was a cat voiced by Kenny Everett who warned against the dangers of matches and boiling water. Also included are wonderful post war Cinemagazines such as the fashion and culture series Roundabout (1962-1974), the science and technology series Living Tomorrow (1969-1983) and the more recent Insight, Perspective and UK Today series.

The Collection is fully shot listed and available to search on-line at our new improved online database, . BFI Footage Sales can also carry out free desk research on behalf of clients.

Viewing and/or master material can be ordered up using the tape and master reference numbers on the database. For commercial clients viewing facilities are available free of charge at the BFI's offices on Stephen Street. Researchers can view material and also copy items to VHS or DVD if they are available on a viewing format from the old Film Images tape library. We can also compile screeners for you for a fee.

COI master material is now available on loan so that clients can organise their transfers and edits direct. An access fee is payable for this service. Alternatively, we can arrange to transfer material on behalf of clients and will then add these costs to the final total.

COI material is licensable throughout the world, a minimum licence fee will be payable upon accessing master material, after which a per second aggregate rate applies.

For more details about fees and how we work, or for any other questions you have, please contact me (Tony Dykes) on:

020 7957 8932