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In the 1980s the BBC explored the exploding world of computing, explained how to use the new home micros and chronicled a decade of Information Technology. Watch 2,692 clips and 150 full programmes from 14 TV series. Run BBC Micro studio software on a BBC Micro
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The Inside Story

Jake Berger Tells us all about the archive

What is the Computer Literacy Project Archive?

Over the years the BBC has produced numerous TV series to help people better understand and use information technology. This Computer Literacy Project (CLP) Archive contains hundreds of programmes and thousands clips from these series along with many other programmes related to computing.  It also allows you to run over 150 BBC Micro software programs - written to accompany the TV programmes - in your browser. For those of you who don't know what the BBC Micro is, it was a computer released in 1981, which focused on education software. The material in this archive is searchable by keyword or theme.

Who is this for?

We hope that this archive is of interest to people who remember the CLP programmes, had a BBC Micro, are interested in the history of technology, or simply wish to experience a bit of 80’s nostalgia.  Much of the material on the principles of computing remain valid today and are likely to be useful for teaching purposes.


History of the Computer Literacy Project

The 1980s saw a revolution in computing. At the beginning, low cost ‘micros’ were a novelty; by the end they were almost everywhere.  In the late seventies the UK seemed woefully unprepared for the ‘new technology’. In business and industry, the silicon chip was changing ways of working, threatening many jobs and making the UK uncompetitive. By 1980 both government and the BBC saw the need for a public awareness and education campaign. The result was the BBC’s ambitious Computer Literacy Project, which included the launch of the popular BBC Micro computers. The project chronicled an important period in the history of computing as well as contributing to it.

You can find out about how the CLP came in to being in the History section of the website.

How did the online archive come in to being?

This online archive project was conceived and produced by two retired members of BBC staff, David Allen and Steve Lowry.  They both worked on the original TV series.  Steve Lowry started building and curating the Computer Literacy Project Archive in 2015, describing the thousand of clips and creating a system of navigable themes.  David and Steve worked with the BBC’s Archive Development team to produce this website.

Computer Literacy Project Archive will be permanently live via BBC Archive.

Computer Literacy Project Archive