CBC To Outsource Archives?

Antonia Zerbisias of the Toronto Star reports this morning that the CBC may be in discussions with the BBC to outsource management of the CBC Archives to the UK public broadcaster.  As Zerbisias notes:

"If it were outsourced, it would mean CBC's library of everything from old news footage to Wayne and Shuster reruns (but excluding sports programming) would come under foreign control. BBC would not only decide how much Canadian producers and filmmakers would pay for Canadian cultural material but would also retain control of the licensing of that material."

This disturbing news is the exact opposite of what the CBC should be doing.  Rather than handing over the archives to the BBC we should be trading with them by making the archives widely available to Canadians and to the British with reciprocity that Canadians obtain access to the BBC' s archives.  The BBC has made major strides toward making its content readily available for re-use to the taxpayers who funded it in the first place.  The CBC should do the same.

Tags: / / /


  1. Branch Plant Economics Again?
    I cannot understand the logic here. Why farm it outside the country at all???

  2. an archivist says:

    Thanks Michael for this information – this story was posted to the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) listserv. I hear that the ACA will be contacting CBC to express its concerns.

  3. This is the same BBC that “lost” numerous episodes of their famous Doctor Who series. I’m not entirely sure how they can be trusted to manage anybody’s archives.

  4. Rick Harris says:

    CBC Archives and Libraries
    Considering the vast amount of content existing in the CBC archives, it is a shame that so little is available to the Canadian public. Regardless of who manages the archive, it is simply wrong that the lion’s share of the archive is blocked by a corporate firewall.
    CBC’s mandate is to be promote Canadian culture and identity. If CBC is true to its mandate, it should allow this content to be freely available through libraries. It is a rich vein of Canadian cultural content that should be available for research and for the enjoyment of all Canadians.

  5. joi the free lancer says:

    Please don’t
    If there is one thing that we should not outsource is this kind of data and collections. This should be kept within the country and its people. If there are Outsourcing Disadvantages
    that any company should study, this is it.