The BBC Written Archives

The BBC Written Archives

An interview with Jacquie Kavanagh, BBC Written Archivist

Explore the history of broadcasting and uncover the story behind the programmes with this exclusive tour from Jacquie Kavanagh, the BBC's written archivist.


What are the BBC Written Archives?

The written archives are the working papers of the organisation that are created in the normal course of business. We have four and a half miles of shelving here for the archive. That encompasses many millions of documents. We have everything from the charters of the BBC, right through to minutes of meetings, financial documents, memoranda, all sorts of things, and these are what end up on the files and have done since 1922 when the BBC was founded. The importance of the archives is really their range. When you think what the BBC's been involved in, it has been the biggest commissioner of music and drama in the country. We run the promenade concert. We're a major publishing house. We are a major broadcaster of news. We're not a government department but we have very close dealings with government, especially in times of crisis. You can't scratch the 20th Century and not fall over the BBC.

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