Monday, 10 September 2012

The Listeners’ Archive

So here’s the dilemma. Do I hand over to the BBC thousands of my recordings as part of their “recorded media amnesty”? It’s all part of the corporation’s 90th anniversary celebrations announced today.
If I did hand them over (mind you that’s a trip back to the UK) I’d quite like them back please. I’m also wondering just how will they sort through the hundreds of carrier bags stuffed full of cassettes and tape reels that come flooding in. And how much of the material will eventually make it to broadcast? Very little one suspects.
Anyway I’ll think it over. Maybe there’s the odd gem I can pass on. In the meantime I’ll keep on posting and sharing on the blog.

Readers in the UK can drop off their tapes from Amnesty Day (October 11) onwards at their local BBC centre. But please feel free to pass any digital copies onto me. Thank you. 
Oh, and watch out for a special BBC90 audio blog post in November too.


Tim Atkinson said...

I had no idea about this, but I sincerely, truly and rather desperately hope that someone, somewhere (could it be you?) has copies of those excellent little Radio Three fillers read by Robin Holmes and called 'Rural Rhymes'. I've got a couple myself and had a friend trawl the BBC archives a few years ago for the rest, only to discover they'd been wiped. As to the question of whether to hand in or not, I think I might be tempted... but only after safely making a digital copy of anything and everything I might consider parting with!

Andy Walmsley said...

I regret I don't have this programme. Trevor Dann (editor of the project) has posted more about the kind of thing they're after,
If you do make digital copies but sure to save them as .wav files.

Paul Hayes said...

I don't think it'll be *any* nearby BBC outpost - my understanding is it will only be the regional HQs, but I'm sure more details will follow.

I'm looking after the Norwich donation on the 11th, anyway. People of East Anglia, bring me your reels...

Andy Walmsley said...

Thank you Paul. I've been speaking to Will Jackson about the project and more info will be forthcoming including the top programmes on their wish list. I'll post about this when I get the details.

CJB said...

I am horrified to think of black bin-bags of reels and cassettes being handed to the BBC under the pretence of an amnesty.

Its a bit like the Bob Monkhouse archives being 'given' to Kaleidoscope.

All 'black holes' into which rare and lost recordings rescued by listeners get thrown never to see the light of day again.

These recordings deserve to be back in the pubic domain. So exactly what is the purpose of yet another Treasure Hunt if it is not to remove from the pubic domain listeners' treasured recordings? If the Beeb really wanted these recordings then it wouldn't have junked / wiped them in the first place.

Have a look at the comments here:] that it is:

“Incredible! Unbelievable! Crass! Stupid! If the BBC are only interested in recovering material they can sell, then surely they are effectively relinquishing copyright, and possessors of “lost” material should have the right to market it themselves – or donate it to an archive where it can be easily accessed!”

The Beeb is really only interested in grabbing back recordings that have a commercial value - period.

CJB said...

And just to prove that the Beeb is only interested in recovering commercially viable recordings:

1/ it requested the closing down of RadioDownloader

2/ was closed down by its owner under the threat of legal action from the Beeb

3/ was closed down by its owner under the threat of legal action from the Beeb

4/ The Beeb has had hundreds of OTR programmes such as the Clitheroe Kid, etc., removed from the Internet Archive at

5/ The Beeb (and others) is starting to get YouTube to delete uploads of OTR programmes that it claims infringe its copyright.

Andy Walmsley said...

I do share some of the concern about recordings returned to the BBC in that little is likely to be ever heard again. I have a list of some of the material recovered as part of the Listeners' Archive and apart from the special programmes at the time I've not heard it on air.

To be fair to Kaleidoscope they do have regular events when they show old recovered recordings, mostly TV stuff of course.

It's a shame that stations such as Radio 4 Extra don't do more. Some shows from Bob Monkhouse's archive did get a repeat back in January this year.

CJB said...

Re: BBC Treasure Hunt. There's a thread here. Seems like lost of folkies have tapes of Folk on 2, Folkweave etc.

But don't give stuff back to the Beeb - its like a black hole - stuff donated and accepted (likely only commercially valuable) - will never see the light of day again.

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