A new website opening up access to footage from BBC Northern Ireland’s archive has launched and is now live.
Rewind currently hosts a collection of more than 13,000 clips including news reports, documentaries and lifestyle programmes from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Work is underway to open up more of the archive from the 1980s and 1990s
This landmark initiative will make a large and diverse cross-section of the BBC’s archive publicly accessible for the first time.
It is intended to be accessed as an academic and research tool and may also appeal to those who wish to catch a glimpse of what life was like in Northern Ireland, as captured by BBC NI, throughout these decades.
At present, Rewind enables users to view content from the 1950s-1970s – much of it unavailable since original broadcast. The archive includes many of the news reports reflecting the Troubles in Northern Ireland during that period and uncovers a number of forgotten stories from the past.
The portal also features some famous faces from Northern Ireland’s history including George Best, Gloria Hunniford and Martin O’Neill.
Rewind users can search through the clips by location, by date or by subject, potentially unearthing stories from their own area, relating to their families or about their own subject of interest.
Peter Johnston, Director BBC NI says: “This evolving archive resource has relevance for many people, providing fresh insights, forgotten stories and the documentation of Northern Ireland’s past. The teams involved have created an important academic resource that combines the power of new technology and the richness of the BBC’s archive for all those interested in finding out more about Northern Ireland throughout the decades.”
Much of the content in Rewind is newly-digitised and this innovative website allows easy, personal access to archive content for the first time.
The content on the archive on the ’50s and ’60s was initially rolled out in libraries across Northern Ireland through BBC NI’s partnership with Libraries NI and the portal remains available as a resource in many libraries.
Additional material on the portal will be released on a phased basis.
Visitors to Rewind are required to register before accessing any of the archive clips. The portal is available at www.bbc.co.uk/rewind.