BBC Genome (Radio Times)

Genome [1][2] is a BBC project which includes around five million programme listings from the Radio Times - pretty much every BBC radio and television programme from 1923 - 2009. It's a vast and very useful resource for researchers.

For example, there are listings for a radio programme from 1933 [3] and a television programme on the day of the first moon landing [4].

Its markup is consistent, if not rich in metadata (no COinS, for instance).

Is there a translator that will read its pages?




  • I like the project, but it's not just the lack of COinS -- the structure of the data on those pages is very precarious (e.g. the names under contributors are not in separate tags, so we'd have to parse both individual names out and remove the role, all via regular expressions and that's just an example).

    I'll put it on my list and anyone should feel welcome to take it, but it's not going to be easy to do this right and at least I can't promise when/if I'll get to it.
  • edited July 6, 2016
    @adamsmith: Thank you.

    Note, though, that the contributors listed are contributors to the /programme/ and so do not need to be shown when the /listing/ is cited.

    Taking the example at [3], for instance the metadata extracted may only need to be:

    Publication: The Radio Times
    Chapter [sic]: Regional Programme Midland, 28 October 1933 20.00
    Title: St. Hilda's Band
    Issue: 525
    Date: 20 October 1933
    Page: 68

    and for the example at [4]:

    Publication: The Radio Times
    Chapter: BBC One London, 21 July 1969 6.00
    Title: Apollo 11
    Issue: 2384
    Date: 17 July 1969
    Page: 16

    P.S. Plus URLs, of course.
  • so is this best described as a magazine? A journal? A newspaper?
  • edited July 6, 2016
    The Radio Times [5] is a magazine.

    The Genome website displays scanned text from the Radio Times, albeit with no attempt to replicate the layout of the paper pages.

  • P.S. The author is always "Anon", or, if you prefer "Radio Times staff".
  • Update: With thanks to Philipp Zumstein (@zuphilip), who coded it, a Genome translator is now live.

    It creates two records: one for the listing, the other for the programme itself.
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