This week the BBC announced it has digitised programme listings from old copies of the Radio Times in an effort to rediscover missing content from its archive. With the first issue dating back to 1923, the project has required the digitisation of 4,500 copies of the publication. As a result the BBC archive development team has identified around five million programme records, which, when compared with the one million programmes currently sitting in the BBC archive, demonstrates the amount of television content that has been lost, or misplaced over the years.
This poses the question of how much other content is out there just waiting to be rediscovered, hidden gems simply forgotten. In a time when production budgets are tight, content libraries need to be maximised. Restoration services now mean old dusty reels of tape that look like they are unsalvageable, can be digitised and brought back to life.
With the wealth of content now being produced, it is vital that content owners are effectively archiving assets. Digitising content is the most efficient method of doing this, allowing for quick access that transcends boundaries quickly. But if tape is still the norm, ensuring it is properly stored in a stable environment is paramount.
Content is valuable and keeping it in check allows you to maximise this, whether it is now or in the future.