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The changing cover art of BBC Handbooks


The BBC continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, but we should remember that this mighty institution has been around for 90 years now. It’s first crackly transmission occurred on 14 November 1922 where the Beeb reported on a train robbery and the fog in London.

From the book collecting point of view, many broadcast-loving collectors are interested the BBC handbooks, which were published annually from 1928 to 1987 with a two-year hiatus in 1953 and 1954. These books were available to the public and reported on what the BBC did and intended to do. There was also some accounting information.

The 1928 handbook includes an essay from John Reith, the first BBC Director-General, about the new corporation.  The British Broadcasting Company had switched to the British Broadcasting Corporation in January 1927. It  includes 50+ pages on radio programming and is also illustrated with some artwork by the famous illustrator Heath Robinson.

Looking through the various editions available on AbeBooks.co.uk, it’s interesting to see how the cover art changed over the years.

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