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The Domesday Book, created in 1086, remains future compatible with no data corruption issues.

In 1986, the BBC asked UK schools to contribute to a new Domesday project. The aim was to create a record of everyday life, through school children’s eyes. This time though, they would use the latest technology.

Incompatible Software

laserdisc1986 was a long time before Web 2.0 or even the World Wide Web but they managed to record a lot of this data digitally.

Using a BBC format of LaserDisc (like a huge compact disc), this was cutting edge digital technology of the time, but the format did not take off and quickly became obsolete.

For years it sat inaccessible, but in the last 10 years work has taken place to reverse engineer the data. Whilst the printed word has no compatibility issues, translating obsolete digital formats present a huge technical challenge. Now for the first time you can get the information on-line.

Domesday Reloaded

Lost Again!

domesday 86Sadly, in 2018 long after this post was published, it was removed from the BBC website. The homepage was added to the National Archives.

Sadly you can no longer search the site. Previously a postcode search returned photos of local mullet wearing Escort Turbo GT drivers in 1986. It was a snapshot into a year when photographs were printed out and your mobile device was a filofax!

Quaint articles (called D-blocks), recorded what kids were into at the time. It’s accuracy (and spelling) couldn’t be relied on, but it was oddly addictive.

There was a school survey of favourite books and bands by gender. From reading rock journalists and pop historians, you wouldn’t have known that for many kids, the best act on the bill at Live Aid was not Queen or U2 but… Paul Young!

A sad loss.