BBC Northern Ireland Community Archive??

Biography/History

The BBC Northern Ireland Television & Radio Archive was established at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum following an agreement signed in April 1989 between the Museum and BBC NI that an archive service should be set up to secure the long-term perservation of archived radio material produced locally by the Corporation and to provide public access to that material. As a result of this agreement, environmentally controlled storage facilities were made available at the Museum for the receipt of BBC material and members of BBC staff appointed to administer it. Material was first received in 1990 with the transfer of significant holdings (pre-1988) from the BBC NI Sound Library, a dedicated computer database set up to record details of the collection and an administrative and research service established for both BBC staff and members of the public. Since then, the Archive has sought to integrate itself as part of the Northern Ireland network of research institutions ensuring public access to the collection through the provision of on-site listening and research facilities and the establishment of a Library Listening Scheme whereby copies of programmes are made available to the public through the NI Public Library network. Promotional events are also held and organised on an annual basis through which Archive staff seek to highlight the collection’s strengths. Although initially established to administer a Sound Archive, the BBC NI Archive has in recent years been allowed to expand with the receipt of BBC material held on other formats and media, the most significant of which being the BBC Northern Ireland Press Office collection of publicity photographs in 1999. Other such deposits continue to be received by the Archive and the original founding agreement of 1989 was amended in 2000 to take account of this development.