The BBC Genome Project went live this week, and already I’m an addict!
The http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/ site is the result of years of work by the BBC Archive department, digitising Radio Times programme information from 1923-2009, and making it searchable. It is easy to use; you can search by programme title, people, dates, or Radio Times editions. Out of curiosity I searched for my own name, and came up with 83 entries for programmes I’d produced – I had forgotten how many episodes of Sunday Home and Garden I was responsible for!
The site is still in Beta mode and the developers know that through the scanning, and character recognition process, that lots of errors have crept in. They are keen to enlist the help of users in correcting mistakes. When I was using the website last night, I noticed that the name of a series producer I know, Patrick Flavelle, had been misspelt, (as Ravelle) and so I’ve now submitted my corrections, and hopefully in the next few days, once my changes have been verified, the pages will be updated.
A colleague and I were lucky enough to go down to London a few months ago and have a sneak preview of the Genome project. We were extremely impressed then, and having tried it out on BBC premises, it is fantastic to now be able to access it whenever I want.
This website will be of tremendous benefit to television and radio historians, as well as other academics – and will save many visits to the BBC Archives at Caversham!