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Archive of Desmond Carrington


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Collection of material relating to Desmond Carrington's professional life, including BBC Radio 2 scripts and music reports, with some correspondence and press cuttings, 1937-2017.


  • Creation: 1937-2017


19.5 Linear metres (133 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

Recordings are currently not available to order.

Negatives are not available to order.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 18901/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 18901/1-128; MS. 18901 Photogr. 1-4; Mus 335 c. 3

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 18901


Archive of Desmond Carrington, 1937-2017.

Biographical / Historical

Desmond Carrington (1926-2017) was an actor and broadcaster for over 75 years. He started broadcasting for the BBC in 1947, having previously been with Radio SEAC (South East Asia Command) and he continued until 31 October 2016 when he retired at the age of 90 through ill health.

From October 1981 until October 2016 Carrington broadcast a weekly record programme on BBC Radio 2 as well as presenting other programmes and producing concerts and documentaries for the network. His weekly programmes had no formal playlist and he was allowed to explore music throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, sometimes delving deeper - as far back as the 1500s. Carrington was unique in that he was allowed by the BBC to broadcast his live 2-hour programmes from his own home in Scotland. His weekly programme was “privatised” in 1996 and from then on, almost all the music came from his own resources in Scotland.


The original arrangement of the archive by Desmond Carrington's producer and partner, David Aylott, has largely been retained.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by David Aylott, producer and partner of Desmond Carrington, 2019.

Catalogue of the archive of Desmond Carrington, 1937-2017
Finding aid prepared by Jen Patterson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom