Date: 27.11.2011Last updated: 29.09.2014 at 10.10

Category: BBC

Independent production houses making BBC commissioned programmes can access many of the same services offered to BBC staff. All customers will need a valid BBC charge code to use the services of BBC Archives. Please refer to the Independent Production User Guide for more information.


For research, ordering and loan of material including TV, Radio, Music, Books and Stills, please contact the Research team on 0208 00 82288 or email

Research can be provided for Independent Production Houses by the in house BBC Research team. There is a charge for this specialist service. However, we also provide a range of online research tools in house to allow programme makers to carry out their own research.

Customers will be guided on the research database free of charge. The TV and radio catalogue can also be browsed. To arrange a time to come in and use these services please contact the research team either by phone or email.

Music Access

Desktop Jukebox: The Desktop Jukebox gives you web access to our commercial and production Music database with thousands of downloadable broadcast quality Wav Files. Register here, please note you will need to quote your BBC charge code and agree to the Terms of Use.

Music Research: Independent content producers can also access the classical and specialist music holdings. To gain access to this, please ring 0208 00 82288 or email BBC Archives' Research and Orders team 

Sheet Music: BBC Archives holds a comprehensive sheet music collection, ranging from orchestral sets to pop song copies, libretti, sheet music anthologies and composers collected works. Hard copy scores and parts for performance and prodution can be produced to meet customer requests. Please contact the Sheet Music Library team on 0208 00 82288 or email

Pronunciation Unit

The Unit provides research and advice on pronunciation. When making enquiries, users are asked to provide details of the BBC network, programme, the deadline and any relevant contextual information. Please refer to the Text Spelling Guide.

The Photo Library

The Photo Library licences BBC copyright images for use in the media. If you are producing a programme for the BBC and have a valid charge code you can access the Photo Library service without the need to pay licence fees for images. If you are working on a non-BBC commission or are wishing to relicense images for use beyond the BBC, reproduction fees will be applicable.

Visit the Photo Library sales site where reproduction fees will be charged at the point of downloading hi-res images. You can contact the Photo library by phone on 0208 00 82288 or by email

Intake/Production Paperwork

Intake deal with the delivery of programme material into the Archive and confirmation of programme histories. Production Intake makes the BBC's production records available for BBC content producers to meet business, charter and legal requirements.

For all P as Cs, P as Bs, scripts and billing information for programmes transmitted on or after 1st January 1980, please complete the Production Intake Enquiry Form and return by email  

Production paperwork for programmes transmitted before 1st January 1980 is supplied by the Written Archives Centre.

Written Archives

The Written Archives Centre holds the permanent written records of the BBC. They are the working papers of the organisation, created during the normal course of business and cover the wide range of activities the BBC has engaged in since it was founded in 1922.

Academic (higher education only) and media researchers can arrange to visit. Please visit The BBC Story site for more information about the terms of access and how to contact us.

The Written Archives Centre also supplies pre-1980 production documents to BBC content producers for business use. For all PasC, PasB and script requests for programmes transmitted before 1st January 1980, please complete the Written Archives Centre Enquiry Form and return by email

Production paperwork for programmes transmitted on or after 1st January 1980 is supplied by Production Intake.

Regions and Nations

For access to regional archive material or research, BBC Archives also has a strong presence across the BBC's regional sites including Birmingham, Bristol and Salford.

Independent production houses making BBC commissioned programmes can also gain access to BBC content via the offices the BBC has in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. Please go through your production team to find out more information about these services.

Copies of BBC archive material

Unfortunately, it is not possible for BBC Archives to provide research or copies of BBC archive material for personal reuse. However, if you were involved in the production of a BBC programme (either as a performer or production staff), you may be able to obtain a copy of the programme via Contributor Access

Members of the general public can find out more about the services the BBC offers via BBC Information.

Academic research for TV should be directed to the BFI and for Radio to the British Library Sound Archive

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