Research Tools:
Box of Broadcasts.

Books With students either starting out at university or returning after the summer break, Liverpool suddenly seems like a busy place again, I thought it might be fun or useful to have a short series of ideas for sources that might prove useful in research. Having an Information Studies means you never quite give up on keeping connected to such things and it feels wrong not to put this knowledge somewhere.

Box of Broadcasts, then.

Box of Broadcasts is a massive streaming database of everything broadcast on much of Freeview television and BBC Radio since 2007.  Literally everything.  Every film, documentary, play, concert, game show, soap, drama and comedy.  Everything.  Apart from, oddly, the red button service.

Plus ten foreign language channels.  Plus a whole bunch of archive material mostly about Shakespeare starting in 1990 onwards.

And if you're a student or staff member at an academic institution you have access to the lot, providing you have the correct log-in information.  Essentially if you can log-in to a computer on campus or an email account, you have access to this.

Box of Broadcasts is here.

You'll have to register initially, but after that you just log-in each time using your institutional log-in.  Anywhere with a web connection and a browser.  Even works on tablets and phones.

There are two key access points.  An EPG like guide which you can scroll backwards, or a search box which has numerous advanced search options.

The legal proviso is that it be used to educational purposes.

How does this benefit researchers?


Between BBC Four and BBC Radio Three and Four there'll be literally thousands of programmes on hundreds of topics.

One of the most difficult problems at university is getting an overview of a topic with a sound academic foundation or finding an angle on a subject and although a lot of this stuff is also available on the BBC website, it's much, much easier having it all in one place.

Isn't that amazing?

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