Location: London 
DPC contact: Cathy Smith (New Media Archivist), tel: 020 8225 9958, e-mail: 
cathy.smith@bbc.co.uk 
URL: www.bbc.co.uk http://presto.joanneum.ac.at 
Scope of business: About 70% of the BBC archive is at risk and requires digitization as a method 
of preservation. The BBC is investing £60 million in this project over the decade 2000-2009. Much 
of the problem concerns material which is at present analogue, and requires conversion. In the next 
decade the BBC will have to face the continued preservation of large amounts of digital material. 
The BBC also has a growing volume of ‘born-digital’ preservation issues, eg web-archiving and 
interactive TV. Work started as the PRESTO project, developing cost-effective technology and 
processes for audiovisual media, and concentrating on solving the technical issue of reducing the 
cost of preservation transfers; PRESTO was completed in October 2002. The PrestoSpace project 
started in February 2004 to extend this approach outside broadcasting, to all collections of audio, 
video and film. PrestoSpace looks at preservation and access together, using preservation work to 
provide new means of access and using enhanced access to provide new funding for preservation 
Service offered: the BBC does not offer a digital archiving service to others 
Type of material held 
The material is created by the BBC and covers the following: 
Website: www.bbc.co.uk; audio: mainly analogue, but includes DAT tape, CD and DVD; just about 
to begin acquisition of ‘born digital’ material from servers; 
Video: mainly analogue, but will soon need to transfer D3 digital videotape. Have made CD and 
DVD material during preservation. 
Core business records 
Volume of material held/planned 
BBC has surveyed web archive requirements, and has detailed knowledge of analogue and digital 
audiovisual material and its preservation requirements. It will be capturing 3.5 Tbytes of data over a 
three-year period, a selection of the BBC’s web output. This will be stored on disk, backed up to 
digital linear tapes. The 10-year audiovisual preservation project will produce about 500,000 hours 
of digital material of various types – approximately 40 Peta bytes of data. 
Also BBC is acquiring material at a rate of about 20k hours per year, a growth rate of about 10% per 
year. 
[For further information see PRESTO project – http://presto.joanneum.ac.at ] DPC Directory of Digital Preservation and Services in the UK, June 2005 8
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