The BBC has opened up tens of thousands of audio-visual recordings as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.
BBC Rewind provides public access to a “vast portion” of the corporation’s archive.
It represents the largest release of digital archive content in BBC history, categorised by the nations and regions of the UK and containing many emotional and powerful stories, many of which have not been viewed since their original broadcast.
The project began in Northern Ireland with a version of the Rewind Portal released in October 2020. It has now been expanded to encompass content from across the entire UK.
In total, over 30,000 pieces of uncovered content will be on the site with the oldest material dating back to the late 1940s.
BBC Rewind users will recognise icons like naturalist Sir David Attenborough and newsreader Moira Stewart among the thousands of videos on offer, and everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to rock royalty including Paul McCartney.
The collection provides a unique snapshot of our shared past, from captivating footage of 60s’ schoolchildren providing refreshing, funny and uncomplicated observations on marriage, religion and work; to the fascinating story of 500 Polish people who – 20 years after World War Two had ended – were still living in an immigration camp in Devon, mixing little with the outside world.
James Stirling, Executive Editor BBC 100, says: “As we celebrate 100 years of the BBC, we’re opening up our unique and deeply valuable archive, an important part of the nation’s collective memory.
“By breathing new life into stories which have laid dormant for years, audiences will be able to discover recordings which can help us all learn more about who we are and where we’re from.”
The new BBC Rewind website is available at www.bbc.co.uk/rewind