In Search of British Popular Culture at the BBC Italian Service. Research trip to the UK.

Here we are!

First post of our Radio Bites section, where we will update you on how are we getting on with our project and we will post about anything interesting we come across during our research.

To be the first one to post is an honour and a challenge at the same time. Where should I start then?

Since on Friday I came back from the UK after two exciting weeks of research about the BBC Italian Service in the post-war decades (and a conference), I thought it would be nice to show you some of the most iconic places for my project and give you an insight into the life of a post-doc researcher. 

Enjoy it and watch this space for updates from my colleagues!

It all started at the British Library in London, literally a book temple where you can have at your desk almost anything you look for in just a little more than an hour. They also hold the BBC sound collection, but many foreign recordings, including the Italian ones, have been either lost or never digitised. For example, during the war it was not very common to record programmes that went on air.

My time there was very productive and enjoyable but, guess what? When I went back there after my conference I could no longer order books as their online system had been hacked (the luck of a researcher on a work trip!). Luckily for me, I had already ordered some books from the previous week, but I wish them good luck for a quick issue resolution!

Wondering how the BBC Written Archives Centre looks like? You might expect a huge contemporary building but, once there, you are faced by this cozy structure where a team of very capable archivists will welcome and assist you with your requests.

You might be scared by this amount of documents to see in only a few days (I definitely was!) but the good news is that, as long as you respect the BBC’s copyright rules, you can photograph anything you need and process it at home.

And this is me presenting my research at the 2023 Radio Conference in Sunderland on 28 October. Thanks again to the MeCCSA Radio Studies Network for the opportunity to deliver a work-in-progress presentation. My post-doc only started in August and it was nice to get feedback from the radio community!

Greetings from us, all the conference delegates smiling after a thought provoking conference, full of chats and interesting debates. Who said that academics live a lonely existence in an ivory tower?

Stay tuned for updates!

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