Friday, April 27, 2012

Priceless archive saved for nation

I had a cheerful morning with my long-time colleague Rebecca Hickie, remembering happy days in the BBC department of Political Documentaries - sadly, abolished long ago.

We'd got together because of the impending closure of Television Centre. (I still can't really believe that's going to happen.)

Ever since Pol Docs - as we all called it - was closed, Rebecca, its Film Researcher and the keeper of everything we shot, has cleverly guarded the film rushes of the department in a secret room in the bowels of Television Centre. I think only she had the key.

But it's time to move the priceless boxes before the building closes, so Rebecca helped me extract part of my own contribution to the storeroom - in particular, 14 boxes of tapes from two series about technology, The Future Just Happened, and Inside Dot Coms, and get them sent to the BBC building where I now work.

Of course, today, finding a machine to play these tapes is probably very expensive, and to get them all digitised would cost a fortune.

But I still think they're worth hanging onto. One day, someone will be pleased to have a record of the time (around 1999) when the internet was still so new that everyone was gobsmacked at what it could do.

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