‘Television Discourses’: how the University of London’s Audio-Visual Centre professionalised and democratised the televisual lecture for postgraduate medical students

In: Gesnerus
Angela Saward
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The focus of this article is on a discrete group of videos that are, for the most part, held at Wellcome Collection in the United Kingdom. It is a case study of a ‘hidden’ archive – one that was almost lost, and certainly overlooked, of the closed-circuit television output from a university department. This department, the University of London Audio-Visual Centre, produced a large corpus of postgraduate medical educational video programmes from 1971– 1991. The article looks at the initial technological optimism, the ‘ideology’ and passion behind this endeavour through the lenses of an influential governmental report and those archives relating to this department. These documents reveal the myriad problems in meeting their original objective. The legacy of two decades of media production, represented by a small selection of videos, had long-term impacts in the educational sector and, arguably, democratised audio-visual education for postgraduate students engaged in the medical disciplines.

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