The National Disc

Graphics

The following image shows the cover page for both the Domesday box set that contains the National Disc:

Domesday box set logo

Purpose of the AIV disc

Except from the user manual:

The Domesday Project is one of the most comprehensive IV applications yet created; it is also the first to employ the technique of storing both source material (i.e. video, stills, data, etc) and the control programs together on the same videodisc – in the past the controlling computer has executed programs from its own, quite separate, storage medium.

The BBC, who initiated the Domesday Project, wished to compile a modern analogue of the 900-year-old Domesday Book which comprises the first, and best known, demographic survey of England.  They realised that the material that they wished to include would come in a great diversity of forms – everything from tables of government statistics to satellite photographs.  This posed a serious problem in terms of how to disseminate the information given the mixture of media, and it became clear that Interactive Video offered an excellent solution.  By further including the control software itself on the videodisc, the problem was reduced to the collection and collation of the information, and the production equipment suitable for its retrieval under control of an untrained operator.

The Domesday Project information is stored on two LaserVision discs – the National disc and the Community disc.  The National disc primarily contains text in the form of abstracts and essays, along with statistical data and other information on the country as a whole.  The contents of the Community disc are split into two sides, each side covering roughly half of the country (the sides are ‘North’ and ‘South’).  Both discs combine still and moving video material with soundtrack or digital data in LV-ROM format; a computer-controlled videodisc player is used in conjunction with computer software read from the videodisc to effect the display of this information.

Introduction video

The Laser Video disc

The National Disc – Side 1
The National Disc – Side 2

The National Disc user manual

The National Disc does not provide its own user manual; instead the operation of the disc is covered by the “BBC Master AIV User Guide”.  You can download a copy of this manual in PDF format from the link below:

BBC Master AIV User Guide

Detailed instructions for using the Domesday software including the Community and National disc is available in the Domesday Video Disc User Guide. You can download this 250 page manual from the link below:

Domesday Video Disc User Guide

Versions of the National disc

There are two known versions of the National disc; the National disc and the National++ disc. The disc version can be determined by the disc label (which includes an addition ‘++’ for the National++ version). The differences between the two versions are not known at the time of writing (however, if you have any information on the versions we’d love to hear from you).

The National disc gallery

Navigation of the National disc’s pictures is possible by moving around in a virtual gallery space that is loaded by default when booting the National disc.  The layout of the virtual gallery is shown in the following map:

A map of the National disc virtual gallery

Disc map

The following disc map for side A (frame guides) are taken from the Video Disc User Guide:

Opening film sequence 57-804
Gallery 803-1122
Gallery Plan 1123-1124
Picture Test Frame 1500-
Registration Frames 1501-1503
Background Maps 24930-25957
Area Selection Frames 28995-29000
Newspaper Front Page Stories 29001-29638
Thematic Maps I 29639-29735
Thematic Maps II 29875-29909
Thematic Maps Ill 29925-29959
Picture sets 42499-49500
Demonstrations 40905-end

Images of the 80s

The second side of the National disc contains an hour long video entitled “Images of the 80s” which is a series of news stories from 1980 to 1986 in chronological order.  The contents of the disc are listed in the sections below.

Images of 1980

1980-03-25 Robert Runcie enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury
1980-04-30 3 Gunmen seize Iranian Embassy in London
1980-05-05 Siege ends when the SAS storm the building and rescue the hostages
1980-05-10 Scottish Cup Final – Rangers v Celtic
1980-06-13 6d piece no longer legal tender
1980-07-05 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final – Bjorn Borg v John McEnroe
1980-08-04 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother celebrates her 80th birthday
1980-09-13 Hercules the bear is recaptured after escaping in the Outer Hebrides
1980-10-08 British Leyland launch the Mini Metro at the 1980 Motor Show
1980-11-10 Michael Foot is elected Labour party leader
1980-12-14 Fans in Liverpool mourn John Lennon

Images of 1981

1981-01-05 Peter Sutcliffe – the Yorkshire Ripper – charged with murder after 5 year hunt
1981-01-25 Limehouse Declaration
1981-03-29 Nearly 7000 run first London Marathon
1981-04-04 Bob Champion on Aldaniti wins Grand National
1981-04-10 By election in Fermanagh-South Tyrone
1981-04-10 Riots in Brixton (10-11 April)
1981-05-05 Bobby Sands dies after 66 day hunger strike
1981-06-13 Blank shots fired at Queen
1981-07-06 Aftermath of rioting in Toxteth district of Liverpool
1981-07-21 England win 3rd Test against Australia
1981-07-29 Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer at St Pauls
1981-09-14 South Belfast MP Robert Bradford assassinated
1981-12-20 Penlee lifeboat and 8 lifeboatmen lost while assisting Union Star

Images of 1982

1982-04-02 Argentina invades Falkland Islands
1982-04-05 Task Force sails
1982-04-25 Defence Minister John Nott announces recapture of South Georgia
1982-05-01 Task Force attacks Port Stanley Airport
1982-05-02 Submarine HMS Conqueror sinks Argentine cruiser General Belgrano
1982-05-04 MOD spokesman Ian McDonald announces HMS Sheffield hit by Exocet
1982-05-12 QE2 leaves Southampton with more troops for Task Force
1982-05-21 British forces land at Port San Carlos on East Falkland
1982-05-28 Battle of Goose Green
1982-05-28 Pope arrives in Britain for a pastoral visit
1982-06-08 Argentine Airforce attacks ships at Bluff Cove
1982-06-14 British troops bombard positions around Port Stanley
1982-06-15 Surrender signed at 0100 BST
1982-06-22 1 day old Prince William leaves hospital
1982-07-20 2 IRA bombs explode in London
1982-09-22 TUC Day of Action in support of health service workers
1982-10-11 Henry VIII’s ship Mary Rose raised from the Solent
1982-11-01 S4C starts transmission in Wales
1982-11-02 Channel 4 opens for the rest of the UK
1982-12-06 INLA bomb kills 16 at disco in Ballykelly

Images of 1983

1983-01-14 Stephen Waldorf mistakenly shot and injured by police
1983-01-17 Breakfast TV comes to Britain
1983-02-19 Scotland v Wales (Rugby)
1983-06-05 People’s March for jobs reaches London
1983-06-05 Sebastian Coe wins Emsley Carr Mile
1983-06-10 Conservative landslide in General Election
1983-07-12 Hottest July for 300 years
1983-09-25 Biggest prison breakout in British history at Maze Prison in County Antrim
1983-10-02 Neil Kinnock elected Labour Party Leader
1983-10-14 Trade and Industry Minister Cecil Parkinson resigns over affair with secretary
1983-11-14 Cruise missiles arrive at Greenham Common
1983-11-18 Torvill and Dean unveil Bolero in Nottingham
1983-11-20 3 shot dead in County Armagh chapel
1983-12-17 IRA bomb explodes behind Harrods

Images of 1984

1984-01-25 Staff at Government Communications HQ no longer allowed union membership
1984-02-22 Relations between coal board and miners union poor over pit closures
1984-03-14 West Belfast MP Gerry Adams shot
1984-04-18 St James Square under siege (Libyan embassy)
1984-04-28 (Libyan) Embassy closed and diplomats expelled
1984-05-28 1500 metres HFC UK Athletics Championships Cwmbran
1984-06-24 AAA meeting Crystal Palace
1984-06-17 Edinburgh games
1984-06-18 Orgreave Coking Plant 6500 pickets confront 3300 police
1984-07-09 York Minister damaged by fire
1984-07-19 Biggest earthquake in UK since 1884 5.5 on Richter Scale
1984-08-12 Banned Noraid director Martin Galvin tries to address republican rally in Belfast
1984-10-12 4 killed 32 injured in Brighton by IRA bomb at Conservative Party Conference hotel
1984-10-23 Michael Buerk reports from Ethiopia

Images of 1985

1985-01-10 Sir Clive Sinclair launches the C5
1985-01-30 Television comes to House of Lords
1985-02-11 Civil servant Clive Ponting acquitted of Official Secrets Act charges
1985-02-26 Teachers strike over pay dispute
1985-03-03 Arthur Scargill announces end of miners’ strike
1985-03-05 Miners return to work after exactly a year
1985-04-28 Embassy World Snooker Championship Dennis Taylor v Steve Davis
1985-05-11 Fire at Bradford City FC kills 52
1985-05-29 Liverpool and Juventos fans riot at Heysel Stadium, Brussels
1985-06-08 Irishman Barry McGuigan takes World Featherweight title from Eusebio Pedroza
1985-07-12 RUC stops Loyalist marches through Catholic areas
1985-07-13 Live Aid rock concert televised around the globe in aid of African famine
1985-08-22 55 killed in aircraft fire at Manchester
1985-09-09 1985 sees rioting in Tottenham and Handsworth area of Birmingham
1985-09-15 Europe wins Ryder Cup for first time since 1957
1985-10-06 Nigel Mansell wins Grand Prix of Europe at Brands Hatch
1985-11-15 Margaret Thatcher and Dr Garret Fitzgerald sign Anglo-Irish Accord

Images of 1986

1986-01-?? Britain’s only helicopter manufacturer offered rescue by Sikorsky in US and by European consortium
1986-01-09 Heseltine resigns from Cabinet
1986-03-03 24 hour strike by Ulster Unionists over Anglo-Irish agreement
1986-04-14 USAF exercise covers preparations for bombing of Libya by UK-based planes
1986-04-30 Rioting in British gaols follows prison officers’ overtime ban
1986-05-05 Concern grows as radiation from Chernobyl reactor fire reaches Britain
1986-05-10 FA Cup final is Liverpool derby
1986-05-25 UK capitals run for Sport Aid
1986-06-06 Hippy convoy evicted from New Forest
1986-07-23 Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson
1986-07-24 Commonwealth games opens despite boycotts over UK stand against South African sanctions
1986-07-28 Daley Thompson wins Decathlon gold