The BBC has launched the website for its Genome project, a vast undertaking that, through digitising every edition of the Radio Times published throughout the years, aims to curated and chronicle every TV and radio show broadcast by the corporation.
Located at genome.ch.bbc.co.uk, the site currently houses the listings as found in all the editions of the Radio Times from 1923 to 2009. You can search by individual programme titles, contributors and synopsis information, or just navigate to the edition of the magazine you want.
In addition, in similar fashion to Wikipedia, users can edit posts and suggest changes, which will be moderated by the Genome team so that the entries can become even more comprehensive.
Digitising the Radio Times was only the first part of the project. The Genome team will next incorporate what was actually broadcast, as well as the regional and national variations.
"It’s one of the most important steps we’re taking to begin unlocking the BBC’s archive, as Genome is the closest we currently have to a comprehensive broadcast history of the BBC," writes the BBC Archive Department on its blog site.
"We’re really pleased to get the site live, not least because so many have been asking 'when', 'how soon' and telling us 'how useful it would be'. The challenges in making available the 4.42 million programme records so far have been significant."
The BBC is hoping that the Genome can also help restore missing programmes to its archive.
"It is highly likely that somewhere out there, in lofts, sheds and basements across the world, many of these 'missing' programmes will have been recorded and kept by generations of TV and radio fans," it says.
"So we’re hoping to use Genome as a way of bringing copies of those lost programmes back in to the BBC archives too."