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 BBC Archives' services. Please refer to the Independent Production User Guide and the FAQ for Independent companies more information.
Please note that BBC Archives' Research is open between 9:30am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays.
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.
Access to BBC Digital Archive:
If you work for an Independent Production Company or BBC Studios and are currently working on a BBC commission you can apply for access to the BBC Digital Archive.
Further information for Independent Production Companies can be found here and for BBC Studios it can be found here.
Customer Support, Orders & Overdues
Please note we are open between 09.30 – 19.00 Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays
For customer support including ordering TV and Radio archive, please contact the Customer Support team on 0208 00 82288 or email:
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 the BBC Archives' Music Library 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.
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 BBC 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. The Photo Library sales website is now available and 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 email.
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.
The Written Archives Centre holds the permanent written records of the BBC. These 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 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.