We are delighted to announce that the South Bank Show Production Archive is now live on our catalogue.

With 9078 audiovisual recordings from the South Bank Show held on various media in our stores, a Footsteps Fund Project has enabled us to digitise over 650 of these recordings which are now available to students and staff through our catalogue. The project has also enabled us to create catalogue records for all the items, not just those which have been digitised.

The best way to explore the archive is through the collection guide on the library’s website and associated search page on the catalogue.

Here’s just a quick glimpse of some of the subjects covered by the digitised material:

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Subjects include:

Paul McCartney, Harold Pinter, Ruth Rendell, Courtney Pine, Zaha Hadid, Tony Harrison, Laurie Anderson, Spamalot, Alan Bennett, Disney-Pixar, Gore Vidal, Caryl Phillips, Sarah Waters, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the Royal Shakespeare Company, J.R.R. Tolkien and many more cultural figures and organisations.

It is worth noting that this material forms the production archive and offers the raw footage from which episodes of the South Bank Show were created. Some of which, if not featured in the full episode, may never have been seen before.

Occasionally material has no audio, others offer audio but no visual element; some may show a shot of the interviewer but we hear the audio of the interviewee; and yet more material might show b-roll footage: material that was shot to be intercut with the interviews to add depth and visual interest to the programmes.

Because of this ‘production’ nature of the archive, there is a lot more to see than just the finished episodes, so take a look and see what you find!

A group of academics and specialists from the university selected the material to digitise.  This reflects not only those films and videos which are important to Leeds and the University, but also those which  feed into wider research fields and areas of interest.

Non-members of the university are able to view the material in the Special Collections Research Centre and bookings for this can be made through the Plan a visit page of the website.