Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The BBC Domesday Project System

The Domesday Project was an immensely ambitious project, that would create a contemporary, multimedia version of the 11th century Domesday Book, accessible via Acorn's BBC micros and laserdiscs. Shockingly, the 1984-86 project more or less succeeded in its lofty goals and came up both with the needed hardware and two discs (the Community Disc and the National Disc) filled with census data and personal accounts of the mid-80s. You can find out more about the BBC Domesday Project over at Wikipedia.

What's more, you can now actually own a complete Domesday System and either start a computer museum or deeply impress your friends. You can start by grabbing the main system (a SCSI enabled BBC Master with trackball), the laser-disc drive (Philips' LV-ROM), the monitor, the system discs (with some extras) and and the BBC Countryside LV-ROM. All those links do of course lead to eBay auctions (by the same seller) and the items can be shipped to Europe, United States, Australia and Canada.


  1. A great example of what could be done with early 80s tech, I'm sure you'll agree Gnome. Owning a BBC B at the time, it seemed incredible that computers could produce video of the quality of the BBC Domesday Project when I was more used to the somewhat basic graphics of Chuckie Egg. Of course, the fact it was all coming off laserdiscs was lost on me at the time :D

    The BBC have made strides to remake a lot of the material available through the web. You can find more at www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday

  2. But of course I agree Bob. It's a bloody technical marvel; especially when compared to Chickie Egg and even Elite. And laser discs always had something magical about them. Must have been their LP size.

    As for the link, it's a treasure trove. Thanks a ton!

  3. Although I don't own the one that was sold here I have spent almost 10 years collecting the Domesday Hardware and have three players, three BBC Masters with the Co-Pro but only one SCSI card and I also have the Domesday System discs, Countryside Disc, Eco Disc and the Volcanoes Disc.

    When I started this I thought that owning one would be difficult but almost owning three is just amazing!

    At present I only have one full working system and if i can fix the second / third I may sell / loan to a museum but that will require another set of discs...

  4. That does sound most impressive indeed dear anonymous. I would also suggest setting up some sort of site/blog for the rest of us to enjoy. I'd love read more about Domesday.