BBC and British Library to open up entertainment archives

LONDON - The BBC and British Library are teaming up to make millions of TV shows, images and music items owned by both organisations more widely available.

BBC: partnering with the British Library to enable greater access to archive material
BBC: partnering with the British Library to enable greater access to archive material

They will explore ways of integrating access to nearly a million hours of BBC TV and radio content, and more than 150 million British Library items.

The two organisations also plan to develop new approaches on issues such as rights management, distribution of archive content, digitisation and storage.

The BBC archive is one of the largest in the world, held in 27 locations across the UK. As well as close to a million hours of TV and radio programmes, it also holds six million still photographs, more than four million items of sheet music and more than half-a-million documents and records.

The British Library's collection exceeds 150 million separate items representing books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, newspapers, photographs and sound recordings.

Mark Thompson, BBC director-general, said: "The BBC and the British Library share many of the same purposes - to guarantee public access to content in an open realm, creating a space where people can debate and exchange ideas and experiences."

He added: "Unlocking the wealth of content in the British Library and BBC archives is a great opportunity, as well as an immense challenge. It is vital we partner, harnessing the power of digital technology to give the public the access they deserve."

 

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