Centre for Media History

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The Centre for Media History seeks to:

  • Stimulate an interest in media history
  • Develop partnerships with national and international partners to promote the study of media history
  • Work for the preservation of media and specifically broadcasting archives
  • Develop new ways of incorporating media history into teaching and learning
  • Bid for research grants to further our aims
  • Provide a stimulating and supportive environment for postgraduate researchers.
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CMH members visit Sweden

A few of our CMH members exploring the archives during a visit to Lund University in Sweden (Prof Hugh Chignell, Dr Kristin Skoog, Dr Tony Stoller & Dr Kathryn McDonald)


Latest Activities from CMH Members


Read a recent blog post by CMH’s Dr Ieuan Franklin about the life of Denis Mitchell, entitled “Seen but Seldom Heard”.

CMH’s Dr Kate Murphy has published a blog about women in the early BBC. Kate is a former Radio 4 producer and author of forthcoming book ‘Behind the Wireless: An Early History of Women at the BBC‘. She also spoke at a special BBC ‘Women in Radio’ celebration event.


The British Library is hosting a short series of classic BBC radio drama listening events, in partnership with listening event specialists In the Dark Radio.

In the Dark Radio & BL Features series

Paul Wilson (Curator of Radio at British Library), Hugh Chignell (Professor of Media History at Bournemouth University) and Dr Amanda Wrigley (Research Fellow at University of Westminster) have delved into the archives of the BBC and the BL to curate this exciting season of programmes originally broadcast from 1956 – 2002.

At these free events, held at the British Library’s Foyle Suite, listeners can enjoy some outstanding archival recordings in a group setting, including Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, Louis MacNiece’s The Dark Tower and David Jones’s In Parenthesis. Each event will be followed by discussions on their continuing relevance and significance for a contemporary audience.

  • The March of the ’45 (1956) by D.G. Bridson
  • In Parenthesis (1955) by David Jones
  • The Rescue (1943) by Edward Sackville-West
  • The Dark Tower (1946) by Louis MacNeice
  • Under Milk Wood (1954) by Dylan Thomas

Price: Free. Book your tickets here


The Centre for Media History are delighted to welcome Dr Allan Jones to Bournemouth University on Wednesday 14th October.

“The dream of mediated national community: the rise and fall of adult education at the BBC”

Dr Allan Jones

In many countries, early broadcasting was motivated by a ‘dream of mediated national community’ (to adapt historian Stephen Lovell’s phrase). How this dream was to be realised varied from country to country: in Britain a public service ethos was felt to be essential – as is well known. Less well known is the central role of adult education in the realisation of this ‘dream’. For approximately 10 years in the 1920s and 30s, adult education was at the heart of the BBC’s radio output. Thereafter follows a long decline, interrupted with occasional resurgences of interest. This talk is a work-in-progress account of this overlooked area of media history.

Allan Jones is a lecturer in communications technology in the Department of Computing and Communications at the Open University. He has published research papers on the history of the BBC’s broadcasting of science and technology, and recently appeared in the BBC Radio 4 series ‘Computing Britain’.

You are all invited to hear Allan speak. Join us in the Coyne Lecture Theatre, Talbot Campus 6-7.30pm on October 14th.

CMH: Our Collections and Collaborations


Independent Television/Broadcasting Authority and Cable Authority archive

The paper archive of the former regulators of commercial broadcasting from 1955 is held at Bournemouth University and is managed by staff at the Centre for Media History. The archive has become a major resource for broadcasting historians.

Collaborative Digitisation

Staff at the Centre for Media History have been involved in the digitisation of large collections of ‘independent local radio’ (or commercial radio) and have produced a resource which is now available online at the BUFVC website.

The Independent Local Radio Programme Sharing Scheme 1983-1990: The Felicity Wells Memorial Archive

The AHRC-funded Felicity Wells Memorial Collection of Independent Radio (1973-1990) brings together materials originally created as the Independent Local Radio (ILR) Sharing Scheme for which those working in features, drama, music and news departments of commercial radio could offer their work to be used throughout the UK.

London Broadcasting Company and Independent Radio News Audio Archive

This JISC-funded resource brings together some 4,000 hours of content from the collections of the London Broadcasting Company/ Independent Radio News Archive, from its beginnings in 1973 up to 1995. A summary of the project can be found on the  JISC website.

Central Southern England Independent Local Radio 1975-1990 Digitisation Project

This AHRC-funded resource, approximately 1300 individual programmes, is a unique opportunity to listen again to programmes that were deposited with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive  at the Hampshire Record Office by independent local radio stations (ILRs) in the Central Southern (Dorset, Hampshire and Berkshire) area.

International History of Public Relations

The Public Relations Research Group is linked with the Centre for Media History due to their strong interest in the history of public relations. Bournemouth University hosts the annual International History of Public Relations Conference, which started in 2010. It is the main international event for scholars in the field of PR history. In addition to its Proceedings, the IHPRC has spurred a flowering of scholarship and publication in book and article form. Each year, the conference attracts papers from up to 18 different countries and subsequently plays an important role in revising the history of public relations.

Twitter_logo_blue International History of Public Relations Twitter

Professor Hugh Chignell talking about the importance and use of of radio archives.


Dr Tony Stoller, Visiting Professor at the Centre for Media History and member of the Entangled Media Histories Network gives an insight into his post-doc research idea about the impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall on classical music radio.

Gloria Khamkar, PhD candidate at the Centre for Media History at Bournemouth University, a radio professional and member of the Entangled Media Histories Network describes her PhD research on the Evolution of Asian radio in England between 1960 and 2004.

CMH Members

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