BBC Programme Catalogue

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The BBC Programme Catalogue is an online archive of the entire BBC back catalogue of TV and radio programmes. The catalogue is for internal use by the BBC although for a time a beta online version was available to the public. "The catalogue is not a complete record of every BBC programme" since certain categories of programme were not catalogued or no longer exist.

The catalogue does not include entries for programmes where no copies of the programme are known to still exist. Nor does it include entries for sport because the BBC does not necessarily own the rights. However every individual news item is separately catalogued since these had a high re-use value (e.g. use of archive footage of historical news items within present-day news programmes or documentaries).




Infax was the BBC's programme database, containing 966,244 BBC programmes dating back to 1938,[1] but not every programme ever broadcast.

In 2014 it was reported that Infax was due to be switched off in March but due to technical issues with Fabric it remains operational at a cost of £780,000 a year to maintain.[2]


In 2013 a new programme archive database was introduced to replace Infax at a cost of £3m a year.[2] Fabric has failed a number of times and the BBC has identified key limitations with the database.[2]



A web verison of this database was made available to access to the public in April 2006, it ceased operation in December 2007.[3] The front page of the website is still available to see via the Internet Archive here After it ceased a message on the website said that it would be incorporating the information into individual programme pages.[4] Although in 2009 an email reply from the BBC showed the reason for its removal was due to a data prortection concern.[5]

Infax was also incorporated into the BBC Motion Gallery website (now Getty Images).[6][7] In mid 2014 a data protection issue was flagged and public access was disabled.

In October 2012 A version of the BBC programme catalog is available to view exclusively in British Library in the London Reading Rooms.[8][9]

Genome Project[edit]

Main article: BBC Genome Project

BBC Genome Project is a digitised online searchable database of back issues of the Radio Times from 1923-2009.[10] The information in the database will be linked up with the video and audio files that the BBC have archived and from this the BBC will be able to work out what is still missing from the archive.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forrester, Ian (19 December 2006). "Infax: Programme Catalogue prototype is back". BBC. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Conlan, Tara (5 February 2014). "BBC considering keeping 40-year-old system after £100m DMI failure". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "About This Prototype". BBC. Archived from the original on 13 June 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "This experimental prototype trial has now concluded". BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "BBC-HISTORY Archives". November 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "BBC MOTION GALLERY PUTS INFAX ONLINE". 1 March 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "BBC Motion Gallery puts Infax online". 13 March 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Elizabeth, Lawes (2 October 2012). "New services at the British Library". University College London. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Other newspaper electronic resources". British Library. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "About this project". BBC. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "BBC's Genome Project offers radio and TV archive listings". BBC. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Sweney, Mark (16 October 2014). "BBC digitises Radio Times back issues". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 

External links[edit]