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The South Bank Show Production Archive is Live

Watch the newly digitised South Bank Show Production Archive through the Special Collections catalogue.

In January 2015 the Library acquired the The South Bank Show Production Archive. Supported by The Footsteps Fund the aim of the project was to preserve and digitise the collection. After years of hard work from our Special Collections team, the entire archive is now live. You can access the collection through our Special Collections Catalogue.

The South Bank Show aired from 1978–2010, bringing high art and popular culture to a mass audience. Melvyn Bragg, our previous Chancellor at the University, wrote and presented the show. A former BBC arts broadcaster, Bragg interviewed important artists and cultural figures. Guests range from Yorkshire born artist David Hockney in 1978 to Nigerian born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in 2009. Other guests include singer-songwriter Paul McCartney and composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber. There is an interview with Architect Zaha Hadid as well as authors Sarah Waters and JRR Tolkien. The Royal Shakespeare Company and Disney-Pixar make an appearance. Beloved Leeds poet and playwright Alan Bennett is also featured.

There are over 9,500 records in the collection, 650 of these contain digital media files. Inside this collection are full interviews, outtakes from interviews, b-roll footage and more. Researchers may appreciate these behind the scenes and unaired recordings. Over the 33 year span of the show the rapid changes in broadcast media technologies are clear.

To access the collection, please visit our Special Collections Catalogue. From there, students and staff will need to sign in to view the digital materials. On the left hand side of the page is a window where you can select to view only the records which contain digital media. As the collection is so expansive, this may make searching easier.

We're very happy for researchers outside the University to access the collection. You can do so by visiting our on-site research centre. Please contact Special Collections to make arrangements. To see more highlights from the collection please visit our Library blog.