January 21, 2022

Earliest Editions of the UK’s Radio Times Magazines (From the 1920s) Now Available Online

From the BBC Blog:

For the first time, we are now releasing the complete 1920s magazines online to the public, as part of the BBC Genome Project.

The BBC has in the last few years used the scanned and processed listings from the issues of Radio Times from 1923 to 2009 to create the BBC Genome database. This database containing more than five million programme listings is available to the world community. It is intended to become a comprehensive record of all BBC programmes, but it is not yet complete.


There are errors generated by the scanning process, which we have invited the audience to edit and improve from our launch in October 2014. We hope that in releasing the full 1920s magazines online, we will enable our crowd-sourcing editors to make great inroads into correcting the text of Genome in that decade. A new toggle functionality also means that editors can easily switch between the BBC Genome listings and the original magazine scan, to compare them and make correction easier.

The earliest issues of Radio Times were witness to great changes in the country. Britain was recovering from the most costly war it had ever fought, not least in terms of the number of deaths of combatants. Women had gained the vote (at age 30 in 1918, lowered to 21, in line with men, in 1928). Motor cars were gradually becoming more affordable and major road and house-building schemes increased mobility and improved living conditions for millions.


Readers can access the magazines by searching for individual listings and clicking on the link which says “view listing in magazine“, or by clicking on the “issues” tab at the top right of the website. This will give a list of all Radio Times magazines by year, and you will be able to scroll through complete 1920s issues this way.

Read the Complete Blog Post

See Also:  Big Media Data: “BBC Genome” Now Live, Data About Every Radio & TV Programme Ever Broadcast by BBC
Our post from October 15, 2014 when BBC Genome officially launched.

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.