January 26, 2022

Big Media Data: “BBC Genome” Now Live, Data About Every Radio & TV Programme Ever Broadcast by BBC

In a word, wow especially in terms of the amount of info available and this is day one of the beta. Crowdsourcing help with corrections, edits, etc. is also good to see. What would be great to see at some time in the future are direct links to the archived clips and programmes available online.

From Today’s Announcement:

[BBC Genome] has been created by using the BBC programme schedule from digitised copies of editions of Radio Times magazine between 1923 – 2009. The next phase of the project will look at capturing regional and national variations and changes to the planned broadcast schedules.

Launched as a beta, BBC Genome lets viewers and listeners search millions of programmes, cast details, writers and transmission dates of past BBC shows as listed in 4469 editions of Radio Times, helping fans find details about that long-forgotten loved BBC programme, research a particular person or find their very own appearance on the BBC.

Crowdsourcing Help

Audiences will also be able to take part in the project, by making edits and corrections to the programme listings, via a simple edit button – with edits sent directly to the BBC to verify. Accepted edits will then be published. This is the first time the BBC is inviting the public to get involved with its data on such a scale. People can also contribute their memories and experiences of the programmes, to be stored by the BBC for future inclusion.

The project scanned 350,622 pages and 4,423,653 programme records from Radio Times between 1923 and 2009.


BBC Genome is a historical record of what was planned to be transmitted on a particular day, as described in Radio Times. It was created prior to current BBC editorial standards and reflects attitudes and standards of the time.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to BBC Genome Search Interface

Example: Search Results For “Dr Who” with Oldest Result First

Example: Search for “Monty Python’s Flying Circus with Oldest Result First

Note: Link to “Advanced Interface” found to the right of search box.
Options to limit search by range of years, months, time of day, days of the week, media (tv only, radio only, both) and by contributor.

Note: Results can be limited to a station (BBC One, Radio Two, etc).

See Also: BBC Genome FAQs

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.