Researchers at the University of Leeds have rescued the BBC Domesday Project, preserving it for future generations. The CAMiLEON Project has developed software that emulates the obsolete BBC computer and videodisc player on which the original system ran.
The BBC Domesday project was conceived by the BBC to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the 1086 Domesday book. It formed a social snapshot of life in the UK during the mid eighties. Information was recorded on two virtually indestructible interactive videodiscs that could be accessed using a special BBC Microcomputer system.
The makers had hoped it would be the beginning of a move to digital resources and the end of the written word. Two decades on and "the visual power of video and the flexibility of the computer" have indeed had a major impact on print but not in the way originally predicted. The videodiscs far outlived the computer system, without which they prove useless.
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