Cataloguing the Archive

Cataloguing the Archive

An interview with Sue Turner a cataloguing expert from BBC Archives

Sue Turner, who heads up the BBC's Cataloguing department, explains why the BBC needs to keep detailed records of its programmes.


Searching the Archive

People might be surprised just how much archive is used in new programmes. The archive is used not just for repeats, but often shots are woven seamlessly into new programmes to fill gaps, and this saves the BBC an awful lot of money.

I've got some examples here of requests that we've had from producers. This one is a request for 'shots of men and women outside in urban India, since we need to cover a big black hole with pictures. Also some urban children, again not poor but middle-class looking'. That just shows how specific these requests are.

Producers can access the catalogue themselves. It's available on the BBC intranet. They can do free text searching and find the shots, hopefully, that they require. For more complex enquiries they may prefer to contact one of the information archive staff, who can do more specialised searching and recall.

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