BBC History marks Beeb’s centenary with digital collections

BBC History has launched three online collections looking at the broadcaster’s most iconic objects, people and contributors over the last century.

The work sits on a BBC 100 website which also features an interactive year-by-year timeline covering key moments in the corporation’s first 100 years. The new collections – 100 Objects, 100 Faces and 100 Voices – will evolve and be added to throughout the centenary year of 2022.

“The BBC has an amazing history which belongs to us all. As we mark 100 years of our BBC, these new digital resources, partner exhibitions, research and publications give a unique insight into the history of the Corporation and provide something to intrigue audiences of all ages.” – Robert Seatter, BBC’s Head of History

In addition to the BBC 100 website, BBC History has worked with a range of cultural and academic partners around the BBC’s centenary. These include various projects with the BFI, one of which, ‘BFI’s 100 BBC Gamechangers’, will chronologically list the 100 BBC TV programmes that changed the landscape of British TV. The list, which will be announced in Spring 2022, is compiled by the television curators and historians at the BFI and led by Lisa Kerrigan, the BFI’s Senior Curator of Television.

Meanwhile, the Science Museum Group, will digitise 1,000 BBC objects for the first time and launch a major exhibition and events programme across the UK. Other regional museum partners will also mark the centenary through collections and displays.

BBC History has also worked with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, to create a series of new research opportunities and a new BBC Engagement Fellowship. BBC History will also be an active partner in the Being Human Festival, run by the Council in collaboration with the British Academy, in November 2022.

This year also sees the publication of The BBC: A People’s History by Professor David Hendy, the only BBC authorised centenary history book. It traces the BBC from its beginnings through war, the creation of television, changing public tastes, and massive cultural change. It is based on unique access to the BBC’s rich and comprehensive archives and will be published on 27 January 2022.

“Only the BBC would have the audacity to mark 100 years in such a fashion after the past decade of dubious revelations coming out about the broadcaster harbouring paedophiles, and perverts, for decades ala Savile and Hall. I’d be keeping it low key personally.” – TV Critic Vivian Summers.

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