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CGI extends dira! provision to further guarantee nation’s radio archive

Tue 16, 11 2021

Partnership supports British Library’s aim to create a digital archive that will preserve a representative proportion of UK radio for everyone

London, UK, 16 November, 2021CGI, the leading newsroom and radio system provider in Europe, has announced a two-year extension of its contract to provide the British Library’s ‘Save our Sounds’ initiative with access to its dira! platform to record and archive a representative selection of the UK’s radio output for posterity. dira!’s support of the project will now run until May 2023, allowing the National Radio Archive to continue to preserve some of the three million hours of radio broadcast throughout the UK every year for future researchers.

The British Library established the Save our Sounds programme in 2015 to preserve as much as possible of the UK’s rare and unique sound recordings. The National Radio Archive is a key part of that initiative and is an ambitious programme to record hundreds of thousands of hours of content each year from 50 stations around the UK.

dira! is a key part of that process and its web-based clients are used to semi-automatically plan, capture, archive, and manage the 50-radio network audio stream recordings within the British Library archive infrastructure, as well as integrate the SpeechToText transcription provided by T-Pro and Cedat85 that enables searchable metadata for future archivists. Over 220,000 radio recordings have already been archived in under two years of operation.

“dira! has played a key part in our ability to establish the National Radio Archive,” comments Dr Luke McKernan, Lead Curator of News and Moving Image at the British Library. “Its ability to scale has helped us cope with the sheer volume of content the project requires, enabling us to provide a searchable snapshot of life in the UK for everyone, now and in the future.”

“We are delighted to be involved with the National Radio Archive project,” says Owain Griffiths, Director, Media, UK and Australia, CGI. “Radio is an important part of the cultural fabric of any nation, and dira!’s ability to ingest concurrent streams from multiple sources and manage them to create a searchable archive of radio shows will guarantee that the voices heard do not disappear.”

About CGI

Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. Operating in hundreds of locations across the globe, CGI delivers end-to-end services and solutions, including strategic IT and business consulting, systems integration, managed IT and business process services and intellectual property solutions. CGI’s merger with SCISYS Group PLC in December 2019 has brought in deep expertise in the media and broadcast sectors, as well as the space and defence sectors. CGI’s Media Solutions, formerly SCISYS Media Solutions, offer a wide range of professional news and content delivery solutions for innovative media companies across local, national, and international markets. This includes the market-leading flagship newsroom system OpenMedia and the radio production solution dira, serving many key players in broadcast and delivery.

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The British Library

We are the national library of the UK, and we are here for everyone.  Our shelves hold over 170 million items – a living collection that gets bigger every day. Although our roots extend back centuries, we aim to collect everything published in the UK today, tomorrow, and far into the future. Our trusted experts care for this collection and open it up for everyone to spark new discoveries, ideas and to help people do incredible things.

We have millions of books, and much more besides. Our London and Yorkshire sites hold collections ranging from newspapers and maps to sound recordings, patents, academic journals, as well as a copy of every UK domain website and blog. Our public spaces provide a place to research, to meet friends, to start up a new business or simply to get inspired by visiting our galleries and events. We work with partners and libraries across the UK and the world to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to use and explore our collections, events, and expertise. And we’re always open online, along with more and more of our digitised collection.



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