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BBC Domesday Project saved for Nation

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The BBC's Domesday Project, the groundbreaking multimedia tour of the UK as it was in 1986, is again open to the public.

You can pop along to the National Archive at Kew, to view it on a PC for free. This is a very appropriate home, as the original Domesday Book also lives there.

At one time, the BBC Domesday Project looked doomed by its reliance upon an dead, almost unreadable, hardware platform.

Set up to celebrate the 900th anniversary of The Domesday Book, the BBC project collected huge amounts of material, 50,000 photographs and 250,000 screens of text. The content was stored onto two video Discs. A BBC Acorn Micro and the Phillips LV-Rom laserdisc player was required to see the results.

But a collaboration between the National Archives, BBC, Andy Finney of ATSF Ltd and Adrian Pearce of LongLife Data saved the day, transferring the original source material onto digital format. Click here for technical details of the rescue.

Peter Armstrong, the original Head of the 1986 BBC Domesday Project, attended the official re-launch of the system.

He said: "So many people who were at school in 1985 remember taking part in local surveys. It's great that they now have the chance to see how it all
came together". ®

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