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Pete Atkin >> Words >> BBC database
(Message started by: Jan on Today at 00:40)

Title: BBC database
Post by Jan on Today at 00:40
Not sure which thread this belongs to.

The BBC have put up on the web an experimental prototype of their programme database. http://open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax
The database has been very difficult to gain access to until now unless you made friends with one of the cataloguers.
It includes extensive references to the work of both Pete and Clive and must have been put together from many sources which will account for its innumerable errors. For instance This sceptr'd isle and This sceptred isle both have entries in one case Pete Atkin is credited as a contributor and indexed in the other P. Atkin is named as Producer but not indexed. There must be many lost things which doesn't lend confidence. Its very interesting though (well it is to me anyway)
I rather like the Subject categories cloud though what use it is I'm not sure.

The entry for the Footlights Review (?)  "Turn it on" listed under Clive's name for 1968 is quite entertaining.

Of course if you want to see or listen to any of the recordings listed you will find it almost impossible unless you happen to be involved yourself with the recording in which case you can have contributor access, eventually.

There is a certain Steve Birkill included as well as other MVs.

Jan

Title: Re: BBC database
Post by Secret Drinker on 23.05.06 at 09:32

on 05/20/06 at 00:40:35, Jan wrote :
Not sure which thread this belongs to.

The BBC have put up on the web an experimental prototype of their programme database. http://open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax


What a fantastically useful resource, Jan - many thanks for posting this. In a few minutes of searching, I've discovered lots of buried treasures I didn't even know about. It's a pity we can't get hold of the actual programmes though - there's some stuff in there I would dearly love to hear, given the chance. Anyway, just knowing about them is the first step...!

Cheers

Paul

Title: Re: BBC database
Post by Pete Atkin on 23.05.06 at 10:56
Yes, thanks a bunch for spotting this, Jan.  When I joined the Beeb in 1981, the Programme Index was all on typed cards in what is now the Langham Hotel across the street from Broadcasting House.  I often wondered what happened to it.  It all disappeared some time before the BBC became even tentaively computerised.  So it looks as if someone somewhere has been transferring at least some of the info after all.

A quick look at some of the things I know about from personal involvement show it to be patchy both in detail and in general -- lots of errors and omissions.  I'm assuming that one of the purposes of uploading the index is to trawl for corrections and additions, but even so it's likely to remain patchy, since the BBC's programme records are STILL not coherently computerised.  The main record of a programme -- the PasB (Programme as Broadcast) -- is still kept on a WP template form which mimics exactly the one that was designed (in the '50s?) to be filled in on a typewriter, so that the info it contains is not accessible in any kind of database form, i.e. it would all need to be inputted separately.   Still, a vast amount of info exists somewhere or other and it constitutes a major national resource, I'd have thought.



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