BFI-TORCH Research Partnership


The British Film Institute (BFI) and TORCH, part of the University of Oxford, have created a strategic partnership that will enable innovative research collaborations between Humanities academics and BFI staff. This partnership seeks to create and enable opportunities for joint research projects that align with the BFI’s research agenda and Oxford researchers’ work.

A key hub of the BFI’s research excellence is the National Film and TV Archive, which will be the focus for this alliance. Established 85 years ago, the Archive boasts one of the world’s largest and most diverse film and television collections. With expertise spanning historical, curatorial, data and archival sciences, the Archive houses over 120,000 non-fiction film titles, 60,000 fiction film titles and 750,000 television programmes. These collections document British life, history and creativity from as far back as 1895. 

As part of this collaboration, the BFI and TORCH have initiated a range of projects which span disciplines, methodologies, and sectors, and which highlight the exciting potential for partnerships of this nature. They include a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship led by Professor Patricia Kingori (Ethox) and involving a range of BFI curators and archivists looking at the theme of ‘endings’ and its manifold connotations for the archive, a pilot study on public health led by Professor Erica Charters (History) and Patrick Russell (BFI) looking at both the history of public health messaging within the BFI’s moving image collections through to contemporary messaging on social media, as well as discussions around the opportunities and challenges of AI and machine learning for the archive via the Centre for Digital Scholarship and the BFI’s Head of Data and Digital Preservation Stephen McConnachie.


For further information about this partnership, please get in touch with Victoria McGuinness (Head of Public Engagement).