The British Library

The British Library

The British Library’s ‘Broadcast News’ service was commissioned in 2010. The system uses Imagen Ltd’s Orbital Enterprise Video Recorder and Imagen software to record, store and index news content and provide a powerful research tool for researchers and the general public. Orbital is an advanced off-air recording and scheduling system which has been developed over a number of years, principally for use by the BBC, BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) and the Ministry of Defence.

Luke McKernan – Lead Curator for News and Moving Image at The British Library

British Library use Orbital to record eighteen UK and International news channels. The Broadcast transport streams are stored on RAIDs in a rolling archive. Pre-selected news programmes are automatically extracted from the broadcast buffer’s RAID on a daily basis using Orbital’s scheduling application. Orbital integrates directly with Imagen EVP – Imagen Ltd’s Enterprise Video Platform. Selected news content is submitted to an Imagen workflow which generates a series of proxies for playback in a web browser. The transcode process also extracts subtitle and EPG information from the broadcast stream to create a unique metadata record.

This rich source of metadata can then be used for searching the archive by users in the Library’s reading rooms via a standard web browser.

The British Library wishes to make more moving image content available to researchers in an integrated environment, so that they can be discovered on its catalogue alongside books, journals, sound recordings and other media. It will do so partly by building up its own collections, such as Broadcast News, but it hopes to achieve more extensive access to moving image content through strategic partnerships with key moving image institutions.

Broadcast News is the first expression of the British Library’s new commitment towards moving images as an essential component of scholarly research. In particular it is a significant step in delivering an eventual multimedia news service, when the Library will start to bring together newspapers, television news, radio news and news websites.

Subtitle search highlights sections in the video where that word or phrase was mentioned.

Their ‘news room’ holds thousands of newspapers, audio and video available for researchers.