Progress on Washes Whiter Project

UEA student Adam Baker came to HAT as a volunteer in May and was taken on in July as part of a paid ten week project to boost the cataloguing and digitisation progress of the BBC Washes Whiter collection. The collection which holds approximately 12,000 commercials in total, ranging in date from 1920s-1989 is a high priority for the archive team. The social and corporate history represented in the material, as well as the many wonderful examples of creative and artistic excellence in TV and cinema advertising, make it one of the most important collections in the Trust’s care. 

During the ten week project, Adam was working on cataloguing and digitising the tapes in the Washes Whiter collection to enable the upload of a further 2000 commercials to HAT’s online catalogue. This took the number of commercials from the Washes Whiter Collection available for public research to over 3000. 

Adam Baker working on transferring material from 1 inch tapes

The project involves the use of HAT’s older machinery to access and digitise the tapes from the collection, in particular 1 inch tape and digi-beta machines. This type of machinery is vital to be able to access the older formats in the collections and it is essential they are kept in working order, which is often very costly. HAT has recently received a generous grant from the Royal Warrant Holders Association to purchase new PC monitors and a newer digi-beta machine.  HAT is very grateful for this funding which will safeguard HAT’s ability to access and digitise the older formats in to the future. 

HAT aims to make the whole collection available online to researchers and the public as soon as possible. Once cataloguing is completed, the Washes Whiter collection together with the British Arrows Archive will form the most comprehensive collection of UK commercials (1920s-present), in existence. To view the Washes Whiter material already added to the catalogue click here.

September 2017

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