Breaking down the BBC archive

Now I understand how the archive is structured I have gone through again to find out what information is titled under and the way in which the information communicates with the user.

A really interesting archive I came across today was, my hotmail account. I started my account in 2004 and the emails are all still here. It is interesting as in 2004 I was 15, so just at the beginning of my own independence. I get such a strange feeling when browsing through, as my past is kept in email form day by day, this truly is a long time blog. Its weird as certain passwords, purchases, friends, lovers, spam, advertising, account details are all stored under one roof, and all about one person, me.

Anyway, back to breaking down the archive, I’m just trying to get an understanding of pathways through and also the pieces of the puzzle:


  • Channel
  • First Broadcast
  • Duration
  • Synopsis (What it is?)
  • Did you know? (Facts)
  • Contributors (Cast + production information)
  • Associated Subjects (pathways into subsections)
  • Related BBC Links (Internal, all of BBC site not just archive)
  • Related External Links (External sites)
  • More like this… (Links to things similar)
  • Search Bar (For the whole of the BBC site)

An idea

On TV the Archive Service could be enabled, this then flashes up small ‘bug’ sized icons on screen to prompt the user to find out more information about the show. The symbols could represent more information such as scripts, props, actors, behind the scenes annotation.

A random button that generates a random page

Looking at possibly using navigation by:

Geographical Mapping

Timeline Mapping

Tying in sentimental value

As the archive is a place that capitulates time, an entry point to the user could be to see

Linking with perhaps google earth to demonstrate where programmes were filmed.

A user could search for their postcode and see the programme filmed in their own town in context.

BBC Timeline

A timeline of the BBC already exists. I’m surprised something like this doesn’t exist in the BBC archive area. It doesn’t however give a feel of professionalism, due to its basic and tacky nature. It doesn’t lead off to other areas, if one existed in the archive then it would be the perfect way of navigating around the site. I feel a timeline is an obvious choice, but then again, it would probably do the job the best. As one already exists, it might be worth trying out a bit more of an innovative and different direction to navigate around the site.

Data Visualisation

Info graphics, useful for something like this kind of site. The site could use vibrant information graphics to attract an audience and make the archive a more of an exciting place in comparison to the existing archive which is not very engaging, unless you specifically went there for something in particular.


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