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Mass Obs to store messages marking 90 years of BBC radio

Messages marking 90 years of BBC radio – to be curated by singer Damon Albarn into a worldwide transmission - will be preserved at the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex.

The BBC is inviting 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 will be sent to the Blur frontman, who will mix 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 14 November at 5.33pm GMT, exactly 90 years since the first BBC transmission in 1922.

The landmark broadcast will form the centrepiece 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.”

You can discuss the project on Twitter by using the hashtag #bbc90.

Listen online to Fiona Courage talking to Sarah Gorrell about the Mass Observation Archive and the Radio Reunited project on Thursday (13 September) on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey between 4.50pm and 5pm.

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Posted on behalf of: Mass Observation Archive
Last updated: Thursday, 13 September 2012