We seek to collect all the material relating to broadcast productions both analogue and digital: the finished masters, of course, but also the raw material such as b-roll, full interviews, the various rough to fine cuts, soundtrack elements and materials used in websites. Just as important are the associated textual documents – proposals, treatments, budgets, company policies, memos/correspondence, contracts/agreements, cast/crew lists, call sheets, research files, production files, promotion and marketing materials, press releases and reviews/critiques. We want to document all aspects of broadcast production – as a creative activity, as a business, and as a record of evolving techniques and technology.
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The names of all the collections acquired thus far are too numerous to include in an article of this length. Suffice to say they are broad and varied. For example: from the ranks of media executives, we have the Moses Znaimer (Much Music, Zoomer Media) and Jay Switzer (CHUM/CITY) archives; from the world of broadcast journalism we have collections from Patrick Watson (This Hour Has Seven Days, Witness to Yesterday, Titans), Michael Maclear (The Ten Thousand Day War, Maclear, Beautiful Dreamers, Flight Plan) and Peter Mansbridge (The National); from the radio community we have Orbyt Media (Command Performance, Private Session), Doug Thompson (The Producers, Music Express Radio Show), as well as the huge treasure trove of 1930s-1960s British, American and Canadian transcription discs from Trent Radio. From the world of television producers we have the archives of Shaftesbury (Murdoch Mysteries, The Listener, Life with Derek), Linda Schuyler/Epitome Pictures Inc. (the various Degrassis, Liberty Street, Riverdale), Big Coat Media (Love it or List It, Animal Magnetism), and Insight Productions Ltd. (Juno Awards, Canadian Idol, Open Mike, Heart of Gold, etc.). From the beginnings of broadcast comedy is the Johnny Wayne Collection (Wayne & Shuster), and from the community of advertising production we have materials from Fritz Spiess, Syd Kessler & Jody Colero, and Norm O’Dell. Finally we have the full archives of the first 75 Heritage Minutes, donated by Historica Canada.
The production of broadcast documents continues apace, and thus the acquisition and preservation of those documents must also continue. This is a costly and labour-intensive activity, however, and it has become apparent that the full costs can no longer realistically be borne by the collecting institutions. We hope that members of the broadcast community – both companies and individuals – and those who believe that the history of broadcasting is worth keeping will consider supporting the institutions in whatever way they can.