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BBC Domesday is finally Reloaded!

Neil Copeman | 11:11 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011

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 Twenty five years ago the BBC published the Domesday Project, now after many years we've made the community disc archive available to all and created the Domeday Reloaded website - and as of today it's now live!

If you've never seen your contribution or just want to explore pictures from the past, then this is the place to do it. There are over 150,000 text entries and around 23,000 images from all over the UK - contributed by school children, community groups and the general public. It's a real snapshot of life and a nostalgic look back at the 80s.

Now the archive is available online we also need your help. We want to bring this project into the present day, compare how life in Britain has changed - and how some things have stayed the same. We're asking you to send us updated pictures and stories from your area via the Domesday Reloaded website.

In November 2011 the  website will be handed over to The National Archives. With their help and expertise in web archiving and digital preservation, this valuable resource will be available to the public for generations to come.




  • Comment number 1.

    A couple of comments...

    First - would this not be an opportunity to fill in the gaps - the D-Blocks that were missed? There will be people with photographs out there - and stories as well, both from 1986 and today.

    Second - what about the second disc?

  • Comment number 2.

    My work was included in the project, and I can't find it - even though I have found my D-block. I can't see any help for this on the website, has all data been uploaded?

  • Comment number 3.

    Was it really 1986? I definitely worked on it in my final year at Junior School (1984-1985).

    Does anyone remember the quiz show Domesday Detectives, hosted by Paul Coia, which used the Domesday Project information? Can some episodes of that be put on the website? I so wanted to win a Commodore Amiga (which Paul always pronounced incorrectly)!

  • Comment number 4.

    At last! I can now correct the blunders and mangling somebody did to the text we originally submitted. I have been angry about this for years. I can only assume that the machine-readable form of my text was lost, and that somebody typed it in again from hardcopy. It's a shame that the person who did it was either careless or dyslexic (or both). At least the photos have survived, even if the caption on one has a misspelling - again, not done by us. Lord Reith would be turning in his grave. Never mind; all's well that ends well.

  • Comment number 5.

    I get the feeling that not everything is available to view. I remember being almost able to walk around an area, Google streetview style, when I used this in school. We didn't realise how lucky we were back then.

    Please can someone confirm how much data is missing from this version and whether we'll get to see it. I assume that the images were stored as PAL video and each click to move around played a different frame, perhaps that's the problem.

    Also, it's a bit annoying how in 1986 we could zoom in, Google maps style, but on Doomsday Reloaded we have to type a name in! Would love a more accurate recreation

  • Comment number 6.

    Great to see this project revived & reloaded :)

    As @Simon V post #5 mentions, implementing the ability to zoom in & out would be really useful.

    In the interests of open data and transparency can the longitude/latitude coordinates for the D-Squares be provided in KML format.

  • Comment number 7.

    I wonder if grammar was better at the Beeb in the mid-eighties? ;-)

    "As of today its now live" [sic]
    "As of today, it's now live" [not sic]

  • Comment number 8.

    @Simon V, the walkthrough you are talking about is something on the National Disc, this is just the community disc data.

  • Comment number 9.

    Just wondering does any one have any spare parts for the BBC Master they used?

    trying to locate the SCSI interface from the Disk player to the Beeb.

    Got the rest inculding the Disks but need that last bit..

  • Comment number 10.

    @eJ2095, You can find the schematic to build your own SCSI interface at http://www.microcomputer.org.uk/projects/domesday-scsi.html you will be hard pressed to find an original one as many of the BBC Masters used for the AIV system will have been dumped by schools.

  • Comment number 11.

    Congratulations to all involved in this. I have often wondered what happened to our contributions, and was so excited to near that it had become accessible. We took two squares in our village. One was covered by the school and that appears on the reloaded site. But the second square was a project undertaken by the local community council, and I co-ordinated this - but it does not appear at all. Has everything now been reloaded? If so, whatever happened to our contribution I wonder?
    Carol Godridge, Moniaive,Dumfriesshire.

  • Comment number 12.

    I've just listened to the Archive Hour and looked at the website. I do not see any access to the National Disc. I suspect that the CAMiLEON project could be the only realisation of the National Disc on modern hardware. I have the whole thing inclding emulation on a 16Gbyte flash memory -- yes both disks, but not the movie on the National Disc B-side. I was part of the CAMiLEON project - http://www.leeds.ac.uk/camileon -- Creative Archiving at Michigan and Leeds, Emulating the Old on the New.

  • Comment number 13.

    Can we add to this, or is the idea merely to update the existing photos? My DBlock had no contributors in 1986.

  • Comment number 14.

    @Rolled (Comment 13), Answer to your question from http://www.domesday1986.com/faq "Currently the BBC Domesday Reloaded project does not have the facility for submitting information for blocks that were originally not completed. The BBC are looking for modern day information that can be contrasted against that recorded 25 years ago for example how the landscape and types of work have changed over the years. Sadly without any original data form the 80's to use as a reference there is nothing to contrast against."

  • Comment number 15.

    I had hoped to log onto the "Doomsday reloaded" site. This seems to be not possible as a received message says "Not available in your area." I live in France but before moving here I lived on the Isle of Wight for over 70 years. It seems that we "Brits" who live outside the UK are penalised by the BBC blog even though we may have memories to share on "Doomsday Reloaded."

    Obviously I have memories of Sandown, my birth place which go back over 75 years. Let us hope the thing improve in November.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm delighted to see this project reloaded. I contributed to the original, and thought it was gone forever. How lovely for the children of the pupils who wrote pieces to be able to read it and compare then and now.
    Wouldn't it be good to do another complete project? My D block is a little island in an otherwise blank area, as our village school was the only one in the locality to have an entry. Such a lot of information didn't get recorded.

  • Comment number 17.

    I can definitely confirm that we wrote this in 1985, I imagine the date is listed as 1986 because that's when all the data and discs were processed and released.

    There was a computer technology program on BBC at the time called something like micro live that featured the domesday project in one of their programs


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