Welcome to the BIRTH Television Archive!

Do you remember the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. or the building of the Berlin Wall? When did television start in your country? Which effects had the introduction of television on the citizens of Europe?

More than fifty years ago television broadcasting in Europe began. It changed the perception of the world by the citizens of Europe.

Today's history was recorded by television producers and broadcast to the living rooms of Europe.

What is the BIRTH Television Archive all about?

The BIRTH Television Archive (BTA) is the World's first internet archive of vintage from the early times of European television.

This unique archive was built up by five major European television archives from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF), Nederlandse Instituut voor Beeld and Geluid, Radio Télévision Belgique Française (RTBF) and Südwestrundfunk (SWR) together with the technical partners Joanneum Research and Noterik Multimedia.

Currently, the BTA comprises more than 630 television programme items, over 370 images, 110 television guides and schedules as well as over 80 articles.

The archive stock is constantly updated and refreshed to enrich the user experience.

What can you do here?

  • Search for television heritage by using search tools specialised for cross language retrieval.
  • Browse search results and look into Detailed Views of every television item giving information, keyframes and audiovisual previews.
  • Browse television programme guides, schedules and photographs.
  • Read articles about various television history topics in the Library.
  • Register as a user for free and you get access to advanced features:
    • Create and manage your own Selection Baskets.
    • Write comments on every item.
    • Send requests to archives for more information or to get a licensed copy.
  • As a registered scientist you can become a member of the European Television History Network (ETHN) and publish your scientific articles via the BTA for free! Also, you can publish your own CV to get in touch with other international researchers in your field.
  • As a registered tv producer you can get access to all previews of television items in the database. Also you can get licensed copies of these items by on line delivery (will be available this year)!
The BIRTH Television Archive revives the experience of early television!

Do you want to learn how to use the BIRTH Television Archive? Please, visit our Help page

Do you want to learn more about the BIRTH project? Please, send us an E-mail

Please, tell us your opinion

BIRTH celebrates its launch at the IASA conference

The BIRTH consortium is invited to showcase the portal during the annual conference of the International Federation of Sound Archives (Barcelona, 12th to 17th September). Alexander Hecht and Johan Oomen will address the question raised in this year's conference theme, "Archives speak, who listens?", by highlighting the interactive features the BIRTH portal offers to its visitors. Their presentation will show how truly user-oriented cultural heritage websites, such as BIRTH, offer more than access to the catalogue and as such evolve into lively online spaces. The programme of the conference can be found online. Please click