Northern Ireland news

BBC NI puts more than 13,000 clips of archive material spanning three decades online

More than 13,000 clips of BBC news reports, documentaries and lifestyle programmes are available to view online

MORE than 13,000 clips of BBC news reports, documentaries and lifestyle programmes spanning three decades are now available to view online.

BBC Northern Ireland today launches Rewind, a diverse range of archive material publicly accessible for the first time.

Viewers an access an online portal containing content from the 1950s to 1970s, with work underway to open up more of the archive from the 1980s and 1990s.

It is intended as an academic and research tool but also to appeal to people wanting to catch a glimpse of what life was like in Northern Ireland, as captured by the BBC, throughout these decades.

The archive includes many news reports reflecting the Troubles as well as famous faces such as George Best, Gloria Hunniford and Martin O’Neill.

Users can search through the clips by location, date or subject, potentially unearthing stories from their own area or relating to their families.

The launch is being accompanied by the television programme Rewind The Scenes on BBC One NI tonight.

The programme takes a look through some of the archive with the help of members of the public to watch their reactions to historical, political and quirky stories of the time.

It includes packages on some of the north's food favourites, such as the soda farl and potato bread, as well as the demise of the pint of porter.

It also includes reactions to the long forgotten tradition of the straw weddings in Co Fermanagh and vintage footage of footballing hero Best.

The programme also features archive footage of many of the news reports documenting the Troubles.

Peter Johnston, BBC NI director, said: "This evolving archive resource has relevance for many people, providing fresh insights, forgotten stories and the documentation of Northern Ireland’s past.

"The teams involved have created an important academic resource that combines the power of new technology and the richness of the BBC’s archive for all those interested in finding out more about Northern Ireland throughout the decades."

The portal can be accessed at www.bbc.co.uk/rewind and Rewind The Scenes is screened on BBC One NI tonight at 11.45pm.

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