Preserving the Television Archive

Preserving the Television Archive

An interview with Adrian Williams, BBC Preservation Manager

Adrian Williams, the BBC's Preservation Manager, explains how the BBC keeps its archive safe for future generations to enjoy.


Film Conservation

We have up to 15 people working on film at any one time and they deal with a whole range of problems that we find in the film collection. Programme makers used to simply cut the film and join it with sellotape. As you can imagine, 40 years on these sellotape joins aren't quite as they used to be and our team spend a lot of time repairing these. If our operators find that there's a particularly scratched piece of film, we can send it to a treatment centre. There they have a contraption where they run the film over a very large, highly polished glass wheel and through an acetone bath, and this liquefies the base component and fills in all the scratches. It's quite amazing, it all sort of disappears before your eyes.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.