Taking the BBC Archives into the Future


(c) Chris Bonfiglioli (2014)

While MPs debate the future of the BBCs licence fee it is often forgotten that radio and TV broadcasts not only play an important part in documenting the present, but can themselves provide fascinating windows into past as well as an invaluable resource for thinking about the future. We are exploring the potential of their broadcast archives with a range of groups. If the challenges around rights and costs are resolved such that they open the doors to this cave of treasures, how will people want to use this amazing resource? For one thing, such an opening up will remind us, if we need it, of what an incredible resource archived TV and radio programmes can be. They can tell us to both see and hear how issues were faced at the time and in turn images and audio from the past can serve teaching and learning in all levels of education, new creative media production, new storytelling, for example about environmental change, and so much more.

So what will people want to do with such archive broadcast? Here are a few ideas emerging from our workshops:

Using and making “timeclouds” for a theme, study topic, or personal life history

a kind of ‘this is your life in TV”

“Navigate in many dimensions (history/time, space, social space)”

“Connect to my family’s history and home”

“Software to mix sources and give a more global/complex point of view”

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