Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Art of Radio: 1930s BBC Year Books

I recently came upon a collection of annual books published by the BBC beginning in 1928. Known (varyingly) as "year books," "hand books" or "annuals," they were issued every year from the late 1920s to the early 1950s, and then for another 20 years or so from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s.

The books contain a wealth of (okay, probably biased!) information about BBC programming, engineering and management as well as some terrific historical context. The earliest editions also feature some terrific period advertising for radios and non-broadcasting related products and organizations.

While the written material is a great resource for anyone interested in BBC history, the artwork featured on the covers (of the dustjacket, or "dustwrapper" as they say in the UK) in the first two decades is absolutely unbelievable.

Please enjoy this sampling of covers from the early 1930s. I'll plan on posting some additional covers from the WWII years later.

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