Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
web site is:

Vault Information



The Vault contains items that are relevant to BBC engineering, but not suitable for general publication on  It is a distributed store that can contain both physical and computer-based items. 

The Vault List shows the contents.

Individual items in the Vault may be requested by following the procedure on the Vault Request page.


During the development of between 2003 and 2019 it became clear that a great deal of ex-BBC equipment and documentation is being held by individuals - mainly ex-staff.  These items were acquired through a mixture of official donation, purchase and rescue from destruction.  The motivation for doing this included interest in the technology, pride in the achievements of BBC engineering and a wish to preserve BBC engineering heritage.  Efforts are now being made to ensure that this heritage remains when the current generation of collectors are not able to continue.  Of course the BBC itself has records of its engineering heritage, but organisational pressures mean that the scope of this work is not as great as many would wish.

As indicated on the Publication Policy page of bbceng, it is not always be practicable to get permission for contributions to be published on this website, so I try to ensure that they are likely to be acceptable to the BBC as well as any other relevant organisations and individuals. I reject items for a number of reasons including potential problems with security, privacy, copyright, commercial interests and lack of relevance.  None of the rejected contributions were likely to have caused serious problems but, due to the completely open nature of the web, I err on the side of caution.

The Vault is intended to resolve the issues in the two paragraphs above.  It has a publicly available list of contents and a procedure for individuals to gain access, subject to appropriate checks.


The Vault can contain computer media and pointers to the location of physical media. There is scope for including pointers to the location of equipment as well.  Copies of the Vault (and the entire website) will be held by several ex-BBC engineers, to reduce the possibility of access being lost. A copy will also be sent to BBC Written Archives when there is sufficient data to justify replacement of the data that is held there already.

Ideally, every document listed would be in the form of a computer file.  This is often the case, but due to the number of documents that keep emerging and the effort involved in scanning them, some are just in paper form and would need to be scanned on request.


Unlike the documents that can be downloaded directly from bbceng, access to the Vault will require time and effort by the person dealing with the request. That person will also have to make sure that it is reasonable to provide the information.  Therefore a specific procedure is given on the Vault Request page.


Martin Ellen