About the ADAPT project 2013-2018
The ADAPT project was funded by an advanced grant from the European Research Council (grant no. 323626) to Professor John Ellis, and based in the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. The ADAPT research team researched the history of British broadcast television technology between 1960 and the near-present.
One strand investigated the history of television production technologies from 1960-2010. In ground-breaking historical reenactment events produced by Amanda Murphy, we reunited retired television professionals with the now obsolete equipment they once used. Through this new kind of media archaeology, retired television staff were able to demonstrate the tools and techniques that defined their working lives. We filmed their efforts so that future generations might better understand the physical labour and technological innovation which enabled British television production from 1960 onwards.
Another strand of ADAPT aimed to investigate a contemporary technological change. Eventually, we decided to investigate the growing use of social media tools and platforms as a television production technology. Social media have entered television production as an external force of creative disruption which the industry is still coming to terms with.
Here is the initial project proposal from 2012
After five years, the ADAPT project has produced:
- this website and the many videos that are connected with it
- 14 days filming with multiple cameras of reunions between historic TV technologies and the teams of technicians who used to use them
- a live demonstration of the first colour TV technologies at the National Media Museum, Bradford
- two completed PhD theses
- a series of books and articles
- a conference on Hands on History
- presentations to conferences in the UK, Europe and USA
- an influential industry report Adapting to Social Media: Commerce, Creativity and Competition in UK Television Production on the current implementation of this new technology within UK broadcasting
The project team owes a huge debt of gratitude to the many dedicated collectors and maintainers of historic television and film equipment who have given their time and resources to make this project possible. Without their long-term commitment, this project, and particularly the filming of technologiesd-in-use would simply have been impossible. We owe a particular debt to two key collaborators: John Adderley and Steve Harris.
This website is the gateway to our video collection. Here, you can view and download hundreds of videos which give a unique and fresh insight into historical television production. All of our videos, which are hosted on the repository platform Figshare, are released under a permissive Creative Commons licence. You are free to download, remix, and redistribute them as you wish.