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Opening Up the Archives: Part 3- Future Proofing

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Ant Miller Ant Miller | 15:30 UK time, Thursday, 14 June 2012

In this episode of the video looking at R&D's efforts to support the BBC archive we take a look at the need to not just address the challenges of the past, but to also ensure the future resilience of the archive.  As we increasingly move content in the archive off he earlier generations of analogue and discrete digital storage, and into digital mass storage, R&D and colleagues across the BBC are developing strategies to deal with the novel problems that this new approach to storage throws up.  In today's film we get to see just how complex this future platform for the archive is proving to be.


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  • Comment number 1.

    When are you going to publish the list of the 300k radio programmes?


  • Comment number 2.

    Actually there is no such thing as Future Proofing all one can do is make it as easy as possible to upgrade. I have always felt that punched tape is the best archive format. It could last thousands of years and any school boy could construct a reader for it.

    I understand LTO tapes could have a life as short as 17 years depending on use. I suspect that the format might be obsolete by then in any case. The preservation of working codecs may be even more of a problem.

    The archive problem is not unique to the BBC though. My own personal videos amount to several terabytes which are kept on external hard discs and a copy kept at my son's house several miles away.

    Do you know what the archive is worth. My guess is that even one tape could be worth millions of pounds. It must be the BBC's most valuable asset. It must cost alot of money to insure!


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