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Research Guides


Sound Recordings in the National Archives


5. Commemorative and Historical Events

Most of the series of sound material included below were created in the course of administering a national event or celebration. Many agencies had a limited existence, supporting a single event, although some have an ongoing role.

Australian Broadcasting Commission

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), Head Office (CA 251) was established under the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act 1932. The Commission was a government-controlled body, closely modelled on the British Broadcasting Commission, responsible for broadcasting music, current affairs, religious, educational and other programs. (See Chapter 3 for a more comprehensive description.)

GRAMOPHONE RECORDINGS, 1933–58
Brisbane
This series consists of approximately 7 500 discs, 10" and 12" in size, with speeds of 331/3 and 78 rpm, on which are recorded classical, light and pop music and songs. Other recordings include messages to the empire, by HM King George V, HM Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister S Baldwin.
Series: BP362/1
Quantity: 23.52 metres
Recorded by: 1933–58 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Queensland (CA 2290)
HM The Queen, message to the women of the empire, 11 November 1939 BP362/1, NN
HM King George VI, victory message to the empire, 15 August 1945 BP362/1, NN
PROGRAM RECORDINGS, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH SA (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) PREFIX, 1933–70
Sydney
This series is described in Chapter 2.
Series: C1829
Quantity: 0.99 metres
Recorded by: 1933–70 Australian Broadcasting Commission, South Australia (CA 2639)
'Scope' item: Chinese Joss House, Darwin – report from ABC Darwin representative Athol Emerton, and highlights of the ceremony at the blessing and opening of the new temple, 1959 C1829, SA31
Governor's farewell message – Sir Robert George, 1952 C1829, SA32
Launching of the P J Adams, Whyalla SA, c1950 C1829, SA76
South Australian Centenary: message by HRH The Duke of Kent, 1936 C1829, SA90
Empire program: King's speech, Ewers, national anthem, 1935 C1829, SA94
Empire program: King's speech, Ewers, national anthem, 1935 C1829, SA95
Canberra summary (Governor) victory speech, 1945 C1829, SA100
Morgan pipeline speeches, 1944 C1829, SA110
RADIO ARCHIVES ORIGINAL SOUND RECORDINGS, SUBJECT CLASSIFIED SERIES, 1933–71
Sydney
Series: C1827
Quantity: 10.89 metres
Recorded by: 1933–71 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Archives (CA 251)
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's broadcast speech on the evening of her coronation, London, 1953 C1827, RO96
The coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey, 1953 C1827, HL37
Souvenir recording of broadcasts of the royal progress in Australia on the occasion of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, 1954 C1827, HL58
ACETATE RECORDINGS OF ABC AND BBC (LOCALLY PRODUCED) PROGRAMS, 1945–81
Sydney
This series is described in Chapter 2.
Series: C119
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1945–81 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Archives (CA 251)
VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day sound effects – ferry whistles, street noises, chimes, the old 100th bells, bells pealing, railway engines, steam whistles, train whistles, 1945 C119, 23
VE (Victory in Europe) Day Speech by HRH Duke of Gloucester, Governor of Australia, followed by music, 1945 C119, 28
RADIO ARCHIVES MASTER AUDIO TAPES, SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM, 1970–71
Sydney
This series is described in Chapter 2.
Series: C102
Quantity: 46.62 metres
Recorded by: 1970–71 Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio Archives (CA 251)
Italia Prize ceremony, 1966 C102, BR26
Naturalisation ceremony at Great Hall, Sydney University, 1949 C102, OC23
Opening ceremony of the 19th Parliament, 1950 C102, POL40
RADIO ARCHIVES LIBRARY TAPES, ANNUAL MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 1973–
Sydney
This series is described in Chapter 2.
Series: C100
Quantity: 669.11 metres
Recorded by: 1973–83 Australian Broadcasting Commission (CA 251); 1983– Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Archives (CA 6879)
Italia Prize 1966, prize-giving ceremony (part 1) (ABC Radio), 1966 C100, 73/3/249

British Phosphate Commission

The British Phosphate Commission (BPC) was established in 1919 under an agreement between the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Britain to administer the island of Nauru. From 1949, the BPC acted as the managing agent for the Christmas Island Phosphate Commission. It also arranged the purchase, shipping and distribution of phosphate supplies, and managed phosphate stocks in Australia and New Zealand. In 1981 the operations of the BPC were wound up.

AUDIO TAPES, 1960–81
Melbourne
The series consists of audio tapes, mainly of radio and television interviews, about the operations of the BPC on Nauru, Ocean and Christmas islands and other matters. The subjects include the official ceremony for the Ocean Island Jubilee in 1960; the Stevedoring Conference held in 1962; radio interviews and news commentaries about the 1979 Christmas Island industrial dispute; and other radio and television material produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, including various 'Four Corners' programs. The material consists of eight large and two small reel-to-reel tapes and ten cassettes.
Series: R126
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1960–81 British Phosphate Commissioners, Melbourne (CA 244)

Australian Constitutional Convention

The Australian Constitutional Convention was established by agreement between State and Commonwealth parliaments in 1972. The convention’s role was to review the operation of the Australian Constitution and to develop recommendations for constitutional amendments with broad-based support. The first convention was held in Sydney in September 1973; the second, in Melbourne in September 1975; and three others in Hobart, Perth, and Adelaide between 1976 and 1983.

SOUND RECORDINGS OF 1973 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS IN SYDNEY, 1973
Sydney
This series consists of 7" open reel audio tape recordings of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention held in Sydney in September 1973. It also includes six 5" tapes of interviews with participants. The convention opened in the Sydney Town Hall but was then transferred to NSW Parliament House. These recordings were made by the Australian Broadcasting Commission at the request of the Sydney Office of the Australian Archives (now the National Archives of Australia).
Series: C1350
Quantity: 6.66 metres
Recorded by: 1973 Australian Broadcasting Commission (CA 251)
AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION AUDIO TAPES, SYDNEY, 1973
Sydney
This series consists of audio tape recordings of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention held in Sydney in September 1973.
Series: MP1621/1
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1973 Australian Constitutional Convention Secretariat (CA 4414)
AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION AUDIO TAPES, MELBOURNE, 1975
Sydney
This series consists of audio tape recordings of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention held in Melbourne in 1975.
Series: MP1621/2
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1975 Australian Constitutional Convention Secretariat (CA 4414)

Australian Bureau of Statistics

In 1974 the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics was re-named the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Among its functions is the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of statistics and related information, and the provision of advice and assistance to official bodies concerning statistics.

RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM PUBLIC OPINION POLL INCLUDING TAPE RECORDINGS, PHONOGRAPHIC DISCS, SCRIPTS AND DEPARTMENTAL MATERIAL, 1974
Canberra
Series: AA1974/619
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1974 Australian Bureau of Statistics (CA 1776)

Australian Customs Service

The Australian Customs Service was established by the Commonwealth Government as an independent agency, with a central office in Canberra, on 10 June 1985. However, the Customs function and records were created much earlier than this date. Before Federation the Customs function was managed separately by each colony.

MASTER SET OF AUDIO TAPES (ON THE) AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE HISTORY PROJECT, 1989–91
Canberra
The series contains information obtained by the Australian Customs Service Oral History Team which was set up as part of the Australian Customs Service History Project. Forty-six serving and retired Customs officers were interviewed.
Series: A10758
Quantity: 0.45 metres
Recorded by: 1989–91 Australian Customs Service (CA 4416)
REFERENCE SET OF AUDIO TAPES (ON) AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE HISTORY PROJECT, 1989–91
Canberra
This series consists of a reference set of audio tapes produced in conjunction with a master set of tapes, A10758. (See above for description.)
Series: A10759
Quantity: 0.45 metres
Recorded by: 1989–91 Australian Customs Service (CA 4416)

Australian National Anthem and Flag Quests Committee

The Australian National Anthem and Flag Quests Committee commenced quests for a new Australian national anthem and flag in August 1971. The competition closed on 26 January 1972 and on 8 April 1974 the Prime Minister announced in Parliament that Advance Australia Fair had been chosen by the people as the national anthem. Following this announcement the chairman of the committee advised all committee members that since the new national anthem had been selected, the major purpose of the committee’s existence had been fulfilled and it could therefore be disbanded.

CORRESPONDENCE AND SOUND RECORDINGS IN RELATION TO ENTRIES SUBMITTED FOR NATIONAL ANTHEM CONTEST, 1971–74
Sydney (part only sound material)
This series consists of the entries forwarded to the Australian National Anthem and Flag Quest, held in 1971–72. A number of contestants submitted their entries on reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes and phonographic records. Most recordings were made on 3" or 5" domestic audio tapes and on cassettes in poor condition. All items have been copied onto 10" audio tape (a preservation and duplicating copy of each item).
Series: C1969
Quantity: 12.6 metres
Recorded by: 1971–74 Australian National Anthem and Flag Quests Committee, Chairman's Office (CA 1457)

The Silver Jubilee Commemorative Organisation

The establishment of the Silver Jubilee Commemorative Organisation was announced by the Prime Minister on 3 February 1977. Its role was to organise and coordinate all events in Australia in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

CARTRIDGE RECORDINGS – SILVER JUBILEE TRAIN MONO AUDIOVISUAL PROGRAM, 1977
Sydney
This series consists of multiple copies of an audiovisual aid program (probably produced as an adjunct to a slide show) in a cartridge format. Of the 20 original items in the series (all identical), only eight items survive.
Series: A5156
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1977 The Silver Jubilee Commemorative Organisation (CA 3042)
CARTRIDGE RECORDINGS – CLASSICAL MUSIC, 1977
Sydney
The series consists of cartridge recordings of classical music. The music was probably used during a Silver Jubilee function.
Series: A5157
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1977 The Silver Jubilee Commemorative Organisation (CA 3042)
SILVER JUBILEE SOUVENIR MEMORABILIA, 1977
Sydney
This series consists of various souvenir and commercial items relating to the celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in 1977. It includes the audio cassette 'Countdown – Silver Jubilee Australian Top 20'.
Series: A5159
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1977 The Silver Jubilee Commemorative Organisation (CA 3042)
TAPE RECORDINGS OF INTERVIEWS AND SPECIAL EVENTS, 1977
Sydney
The series consists of nine cassettes, two reel-to-reel tapes and two micro-cassettes. Contents include special events, eg the exhibition train and interviews recorded by the organisation's chairman, Harry M Miller.
Series: A5917
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: 1977 The Silver Jubilee Commemorative Organisation (CA 3042)

Australian Bicentennial Authority

The Australian Bicentennial Authority was established under the Australian Bicentennial Authority Act 1980. In consultation with the State and Northern Territory governments, the authority planned, recommended and arranged celebrations in 1988 for the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia.

GENERAL AUDIO CASSETTES, 1980–88
Sydney (part only sound material)
This series contains various recordings on the Australian Bicentennial Authority's operations. The recordings include audio newsletters, advertisements, radio programs, event programs, speeches, interviews and theme songs.
Series: C2897
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: Recorded by: 1980–88 Australian Bicentennial Authority, National Office (CA 3997)
'Bicentenary 88', audio newsletter for the blind, read by Victoria Anderson, starting with a message from the chairman, Jim Kirk, 1988 C2897, 18
'Tall Ships' program – theme music from A V by David Reeves, c1988 C2897, 42
AUSTRALIAN BICENTENNIAL AUTHORITY AUDIOVISUAL PRESENTATIONS, 1981–89
Perth
This series consists of videotapes (both VHS and Beta) and audio reel-to-reel tapes produced for, and during, the Bicentenary. All tapes are information copies of masters produced by and/or for the Australian Bicentennial Authority. The five audio tapes cover bicentennial events and promotions.
Series: K791
Quantity: 1.62 metres
Recorded by: 1981–89 Australian Bicentennial Authority, Western Australia Council (CA 4119)
'Celebration of a Nation', 1988 K791, NN
'Living Together', 1988 K791, NN
'Sport '88', 1988 K791, NN
'There's a Whole Lot Better to Come', 1988 K791, NN
'Eureka', 1988 K791, NN
PROMOTIONAL AUDIO TAPES, 1986–88
Canberra
The Historic Records Search was a major bicentennial project funded by the Australian Bicentennial Authority and conducted with the support of the National Library of Australia. The aim of the search was to record in a central database the existence of privately owned material that might be of value to researchers of the nation's social and cultural history. This series consists of audio tapes used to promote the existence and aims of the search. Most were made by the ABC and used in radio programs. There are 32 items in the series; most are standard audio cassettes but there are also some reel-to-reel tapes.
Series: A7842
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1986–88 Australian Bicentennial Authority, Office of the Historic Records Search, National Library, Canberra (CA 3997)
AUDIOVISUAL TAPES AND MUSIC SCORES OF THE NATIONAL BICENTENNIAL DANCE EVENT, 1987
Sydney (part only sound material)
The National Bicentennial Dance Event was commissioned under the National Commissioning Section of the National Arts Program and presented free performances in collaboration with the Sydney Dance Company, the Western Australian Ballet Company, the Queensland Ballet and Australian Dance Theatre. This series contains audio cassettes and master show tapes recordings of the performances and copies of the four musical scores. There is no control system for the 15 items in the collection.
Series: C2757
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1987 Australian Bicentennial Authority, National Office (CA 3997)
PHOTOGRAPHS AND AUDIOVISUAL RECORDS OF THE ACT OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN BICENTENNIAL AUTHORITY, 1987–89
Canberra (part only sound material)
In addition to photographs, this series contains three videos and one LP audio record of projects and events held in the ACT during the bicentennial celebrations.
Series: A7820
Quantity: 2.34 metres
Recorded by: 1987–89 Australian Capital Territory (from 1984, Australian Capital Territory and Island Territories, ACTIT), Office of the Australian Bicentennial Authority (CA 4122)

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