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Research Guides


A Nation's Imagination: Australia’s Copyright Records, 1854–1968


Australian Broadcasting Commission

Production cards for radio drama (single productions), 1936–
Sydney

This series contains alphabetically arranged cards providing production details of radio drama single productions. Each card records general information about the production, including music, producer, duration, fees and copyright. Please note that material less than 30 years old is not available for access.

Series: C1226
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1936–83 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Drama and Features (CA 251); 1983– Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Drama and Features (CA 3589)
Production cards of drama serials, 1936–
Sydney

This series contains alphabetically arranged cards providing production details of radio drama series. Each card records general information about episodes of the drama series, including music, producer, duration, fees and copyright. Please note that material less than 30 years old is not available for access.

Series: C1227
Quantity: 0.72 metres
Recorded by: 1936–83 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Drama and Features (CA 251); 1983– Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Drama and Features (CA 3589)
Copyright payments, 1940–75
Sydney

The series contains records of copyright payments made by the ABC for radio drama. It is arranged alphabetically by play title (from Abe Lincoln in Illinois to Zone 36).

Documentation relating to individual plays is stapled together in bundles. No numbering system is used on any of the documents or the bundles, which are arranged alphabetically (see examples listed below).

It is a more exciting and useful series than the title implies. The documents not only provide a clear picture of radio drama of the periods covered, but also give valuable information about the plays and people associated with them.

In most cases details of the copyright payments are provided. Among the information recorded are the date, amount, name and address of payee, type of fee paid and for what (eg copyright or adaptation for radio, etc), and a synopsis of the play. Associated material may contain short script amendments, character and cast list, copies of original letters to and from the ABC to listeners and those involved with productions, and copies of telegrams, cables, memos and contracts.

The plays include original writings for radio and adaptations of books, stage plays and television scripts. Adaptations of classics by, among others, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter and George Bernard Shaw are well represented, as well as works by Australian writers. The few examples cited below give some indication of the richness and diversity of drama and dramatists presented by ABC Radio.

No controlling register or index for this material has been identified and it is possible none was ever made. However, the accession record for this series (held in Sydney) contains a complete list of titles. There is no list by author.

Babby Joe, James Douglas, adapted by Joy Hollyer (who worked on many adaptations held in this series), 1967. C681, BA

The Big Smoke, Darcy Niland, adapted by Lyle Martin, 1969. C681, BI

The Cabbage Tree Hat Boys, Peter Yeldham, adapted by Joy Hollyer, 1966. C681, CA–CAL

Crowd of Three, Tom Hegarty, 1966. C681, CR

A Death out of Season, Miss Noel Robinson, 1959. C681, DEA

The Earthquake Shakes The Land, Douglas Stewart, play in verse, 1948. C681, EA–EL

Series: C681
Quantity: 1.26 metres
Recorded by: Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Drama and Features (CA 251)
Correspondence about copyright, 1946–68
Sydney

This series contains applications for clearance, restriction and release notices, mechanical royalties, manuscripts arrangements and other matters.

The material is itemised by box, but individual items within the boxes are not numbered. However, a full accession record is held in the Archives' Sydney office.

Related documents for particular correspondents are stapled together in bundles that cover wide date ranges. This correspondence includes communications between the ABC, publishers, agents, authors and composers. Information in these items includes advice that works have been programmed for broadcast, program dates and times, requirements for fees and copyright clearances, lyrics, and copies of telegrams and cables.

Series: ST3160/1
Quantity: 7.4 metres
Recorded by: Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Drama and Features (CA 251)
J Albert and Co (Aust.) Pty Ltd, January – November 1963 ST3160/1 box 3
Copyright – J C Williamson's Theatres Ltd, January – April 1962 ST3160/1 box 3
Recordings, January 1960 – February 1961 ST3160/1 box 3
Image 18: <em>The White Sister</em>, Lillian Gish and Ronald Coleman, 1926.

Image 18: The White Sister, Lillian Gish and Ronald Coleman, 1926.
NAA: A1714, 161 (photo 5)
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Chapter 5
Searching Further Afield in the Archives