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University archive to store messages marking 90 years of BBC radio

Messages marking 90 years of BBC radio – to be broadcast this evening (5.33pm on Wednesday 14 November) in a worldwide transmission and curated by the musician Damon Albarn – will be preserved at the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex.

The BBC invited listeners to text, tweet or email to their favourite BBC radio station “a hope, a fear, an observation, question or piece of advice” addressing people who may be listening to the radio in another 90 years’ time.

One message from each of the 60 or so participating BBC radio stations were sent to the Blur frontman, who mixed them together and set them to a score. 

The resulting three-minute piece, called Radio Reunited, will be broadcast to an estimated global audience of 120 million on tonight at 5.33pm GMT, exactly 90 years since the first BBC transmission in 1922.

The landmark broadcast will form the centre piece for the BBC's celebration of 90 years on the airwaves, along with a range of special programming planned across BBC stations.

The messages will be passed on to the Mass Observation Archive to ensure they are preserved for another 90 years and can be made available for academic research.

Fiona Courage, Special Collections Manager and Mass Observation Curator at the University, said: “We’re delighted that the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex will be home to the BBC’s messages to the future.

“The Archive is already a treasure trove of the everyday opinions, hopes, fears and observations of people from around the UK and beyond.

“This unique collection of tweets, text messages and emails will, I’m sure, prove a valuable asset for the historians of tomorrow.”

Notes for Editors

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Last updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2012