BBC Northern Ireland Archive

The BBC Northern Ireland Archive is a comprehensive collection of archive material previously broadcast by and/or originating from the BBC in Northern Ireland, since its establishment in 1924 to the present day. It consists of some 8,000 radio programmes (c 1924-c 1999), 500 cans of film (c 1959-79), the BBC NI Press Office Collection of approx. 10,000 publicity photographs and negatives, press releases and cuttings (c 1930-2000), and a small collection of assorted BBC publications (c 1930-c 1990). Reflecting the Corporation's role as a public service broadcaster, the collection is a unique and unrivalled source of information on the life and culture of the Province during the 20th century. As well as providing a commentary on the work and history of BBC Northern Ireland itself, the collection is notable for its examples of early local broadcasting, radio reports on the political situation in Northern Ireland, c 1969-1999, its celebration and examination of Ulster customs and traditions, and for its use and promotion of available local talent such as Sam Hanna Bell, John Boyd, and Seamus Heaney. Also highlighted in the Archive are the everyday concerns, pre-occupations and interests of the ordinary person in Northern Ireland with many broadcasts reflecting a side of life not usually promoted here; local history, education, consumer affairs, languages, sport and light entertainment are also featured.


The BBC NI Archive includes the following strengths: early broadcast material; radio current affairs (c 1990/), social history, literature and the arts.

Physical characteristics

The collection includes approx. 8000 radio programmes on a variety of formats including Quarter-Inch Magnetic Tape, Cassette, CD, Minidisk and DAT, approx. 500 cans of 16mm cinefilm (Colour and B&W), approx. 10,000 B&W and Colour prints, negatives and contact sheets from the BBC NI Press Office and a collection of BBC Press Releases, Press Cuttings (original and photocopied compilations), and an assorted collection of BBC leaflets and pamphlets.

Description or Catalogue

Customised in-house computerised database (STATUS IQ);
The Radio Catalogue: BBC Northern Ireland Archives at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, compiled and edited by Gráinne Loughran and Marian McCavana (Belfast, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, 1993);


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Added by BBC Northern Ireland Archive | Last updated on: 20 August 2018