1980s computing as it happened

Clips of the ground-breaking, educational and entertaining 1980s BBC Computer Literacy Project (CLP) series archive can now be searched and viewed at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park.

At a launch at the Museum yesterday, the CLP archive covering the decade-long ambitious BBC Computer Literacy Project series was unveiled. The archive chronicles a formative period of computer history and gives insights of the real-time story of the 1980s explosion of personal computing and computer communications. The influence of the series was profound and inspired a generation to use computers and many to become coders and even entrepreneurs.

Both educational and nostalgic, and featuring many leaders of the industry in their younger days, the CLP Archive includes:

Ø 257 programmes

Ø 2500+ clips described by the original production team

Ø Clips searchable by series, theme, timeline, BBC Micro software, and keyword search.

Hosting the launch, Andrew Herbert, chair of TNMOC trustees, said, “The BBC Computer Literacy Project Archive will be a valuable resource to computer historians – it covers a period of rapid change when computers were developed and used, and when the UK held a leadership position in the industry.Importantly, alongside the technology, the archive shows how computers changed every-day lives and started to ask some of the big questions on the impact of computers on society.”

At the launch, Bill Thompson, from BBC Research & Development, put the archive in context praising it as an exemplar for other BBC programming which effectively document aspects of British and world history.

The content has been curated by retired BBC staff who were involved with the BBC Computer Literacy programming in the late 1970s and 1980s, and the website was built by BBC Archive Development.

The complete archive can be seen by visitors to The National Museum of Computing in the Fujitsu Innovation Hub when the Museum is fully open: see www.tnmoc.org/visit for opening hours.

A taster of the archive can be viewed at www.bbc.co.uk/taster/pilots/computer-literacy-project

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