British TV clips thought to be lost are rediscovered at VRT thanks to

21 May 2021

Every now and then, we come across unique stories that perfectly capture the mission of our platform, Reinier Wels, a historian with a passion for old programmes, discovered The Archive some time ago. This is a platform where visitors can browse through over a million descriptions of audio and video clips from the Flemish cultural, media and government sectors. Reiner’s search on led to the resurfacing of a number of clips from the BBC, which until recently were thought to be lost.


In the past, if you were looking for a specific audio or video clip, you had to plan a visit to the archive and physically search through lots of content., which was launched in 2019, has simplified this search on all fronts. Meemoo and its content partners have used this platform to make image and audio metadata from over 100 organisations available to the public. You can browse through audiovisual clip descriptions and then contact the relevant administrator with a single mouse-click – something that was inconceivable before.

Searching for lost content usually feels like you’re playing with a grabbing machine at the funfair – you’ll only win once in a hundred efforts. But it’s exactly the opposite with, and you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

- Reinier Wels

A historian with a mission

Reinier, a historian who specialised in imaging for Film and TV, has made a game out of retrieving lost British clips, and makes his searching much easier. His participation in forums dedicated exclusively to digging up old footage means he knows it hasn’t always been so easy to archive BBC programmes. Lots of much-loved British programmes had become almost unfindable, which is exactly what makes discovering these clips so challenging and worthwhile.

The ultimate collaboration

Reinier has used’s search function to find lost clips from the BBC series Sherlock Holmes with Peter Cushing (1968). The VRT programme ‘Ziet u er wat in?’ showed several clips from this series back in the 1970s. Unlocking the metadata stored in the rich and valuable VRT archive therefore enabled these old treasures to resurface.

Congratulations to VRT for preserving these programmes so well. I would never have found the Sherlock Holmes clips without VRT and, but you made it possible for me to really focus my search.

- Reinier Wels

New clips are added to every day. Maybe you too will find some hidden treasure? Or discover some pure nostalgia? Have a look for yourself and share your finds and discoveries with our team.

> Go to The Archive
‘Ziet u er wat in’ was a programme that was broadcast on Friday evenings to look ahead at next week’s offering. - © VRT

‘Ziet u er wat in’ was a programme that was broadcast on Friday evenings to look ahead at next week’s offering. - © VRT

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