Feeling nostalgic? Perhaps you just fancy a trip down memory lane? Or maybe you're searching for information for an obituary or researching the background to an aspect of TV technology or the history of a particular studio, location or crew of technicians for an article or book?
Listed below are a selection of links to interesting sources of the history of our industry. This is just the start – we know there are many more sources out there, so if you know of an interesting resource not currently listed, please contact email@example.com with the information.
Of course, a great source of TV camerawork history is our very own publications archive. The GTC has digitized the entire back catalogue of Zerb and GTC in Focus, all of which are freely available to everyone apart from the most recent issue of each, which are reserved online for GTC members until a new issues comes out.
See the Zerb archive: www.gtc.org.uk/publications/zerb.aspx
GTC In Focus archive: www.gtc.org.uk/publications/in-focus.aspx
BBC Engineering Monographs
Over the years, the BBC has published many technical documents. Here you can find a fascinating collection of these monographs from between 1971 to 1980.
BBC Tech Ops History Site
A great repository of photos and stories from BBC Tech Ops started in 2003 and now comprising many pages.
The MCR21 Project
The MCR21 (Mobile Control Room 21) Project has been set up to restore the oldest and most complete BBC outside broadcast van to its original 'as new' condition, to bring to life how OBs were made in the 1960s. The project team have put together a fascinating website: mcr21.org.uk plus a YouTube channel.
Memorabilia section on the ARTS (Association of Retired Thames Staff) website
The History of Football on TV
Regional coverage, and local games.
Interesting film about the commissioning of London Studios:
British Entertainment History Project
The UK's largest oral history collection of interviews with professionals from across the film, television, radio and theatre industries, this is a unique archive of professional experiences and personal insights reflects both the working lives of the interviewees as well as the overall social, cultural and economic contribution of the UK's media entertainment industry.
The Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group is a small association of experienced and motivated professionals dedicated to the survival and interpretation of television history – their site includes news of many interesting preservation projects.
Television from Alexander Palace – by Arthur Dungate
The purpose of this website is to provide infomration, much of which may be unavailable elsewere, based on personal experiences of the early days of BBC Television when it was broadcast from Alexandra Palace on the heights of North London. The period covered is post-war from 1952 to 1963. In addition there some experiences of Lime Grove and Riverside Studios in the mid-1950s.
TV outside broadcast history
The site of GTC member Nick Gilbey, who many GTC members will know as a fount of incredible knowledge on the history of TV OBs and author of several Zerb articles over the years. The site includes detailed histories of, for example, the coverage of the 1948 Olympics and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11 as well as 75 years of covering the Oxford–Cambridge Boat Race. Fascinating photographs as well as meticulously researched information on these events, including the technology and people involved. In 2020 Nick was awarded the Shiers Trust Award to continue his research into the work of the late Peter Dimmock, who was responsible for so many important developments in OBs at the BBC during the 1950s and 60s.
TV studio history
A fascinating collection of resources forming "an incomplete history of London's television studios", curated by well-known, now retired, TV lighting director Martin Kempton.
Wikipedia History of TV
Wiki repository of all sorts of information relating to the history of television worldwide including an overview of broadcasting history and many links to information on important innovators and inventors, broadcasting museums etc.
If you like quirky lists, this it the site for you – A–Z list of virtually every TV programme you can think of classified with a TV Cream Immortality Rating, plus lists of top 100 films and singles as voted for by TVC subscribers.
A guided tour through the history of broadcast TV tech from the inimitable Norman Green. In 2017, Norman Green, the retired ITV Network's first Head of Technology, was asked at very short notice to give an 'after lunch' talk to a group of retired senior BBC Managers and staff from Engineering and Operations. Norman decided to tell them how he got into the 'Fun Factory' that was television and then how, through his career, he worked with BBC staff on many occasions. This video is an illustrated version of that talk.
Museum of the Broadcast Television Camera
The aim of this site is to be a valuable data resource covering the technical details of all the European and American television cameras that have been used for broadcasting or that have some other special feature.
History of TV sets
This entire website is devoted to the history of the design, development, and marketing of the television set. It is arranged in a chronological order, year-by-year, so you can see how things progressed. Timeline button bars take you to hundreds of illustrations, graphics, reference articles, advertising, photos and scans of real TV sets of long ago, from the US, Europe and Japan.
Period TV equipment for hire: Golden Age TV
GTC member Dicky Howett has been amassing an impressive collection of period TV equipment from the very earliest models. Items from the collection can be hired as props and some as working models for period drama shoots, exhibitions, demonstrations and so on. For the full list of equipment visit:
Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation
Arizona-based site, with the mission of: "Preserving engineering, communications and computation history. We seek the three dimensional artifacts, the papers and thoughts of those who pioneered the technology" – a fascinating, eclectic collection of images and documents from many differents areas of technology.