The BBC has launched a ‘beta’ version of a new project aiming to publish a comprehensive history of every radio and TV programme its ever broadcast.
The first phase of BBC Genome is based on digitised editions of the Radio Times from 1923 – 2009 and allows the searching of millions of programmes, cast details, writers and transmission dates.
BBC bosses expect the service to be popular with viewers, listeners and programme historians looking to check details about long-cherished shows.
Genome will later be expanded to include regional and national variations in schedules and any changes to the planned broadcast schedules.
Audiences will also be able to contribute to the project, by making edits and corrections to the programme listings which will then be checked and approved by BBC moderatos.
People can also contribute their memories and experiences of the programmes, to be stored by the BBC for future inclusion.
Tony Ageh, Controller, Archive Development, said: “The publication of the BBC Genome marks a significant step forward in helping us to open up more of the BBC’s vast and priceless archives to the public, by creating this record of the history of BBC programming across radio and TV since 1922.
“This information will be invaluable to anybody looking to discover more about the BBC and the wonderful and important broadcasts from years gone by and it will also be our first chance to invite them to help us establish where there are gaps in our information and knowledge about the breadth and depth of our enormous collections.”
Ben Preston, Radio Times Editor, said: “To flick through these new digital pages of Radio Times over the last 90 years is to watch a popular history of Britain, television, radio and every family unfold.
“Royal weddings, moments of history, stars being born and even shows that everyone has now forgotten – they are all here. If you want to find out what was on the television or radio on the day of your birth, this treasure house of an archive will reveal whether you were a Blue Peter baby – or child of Flog It!”