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Sound Archives :

The History of Our Sound Library :

The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand first made use of sound recordings in 1937 when it arranged for three Missionary addresses to be recorded on 78rpm gramophone records "To arouse and sustain a missionary spirit among the congregations". While live radio services had been broadcast from at least the 1930's the earliest extant recording of such an event is the 100th anniversary service on the Petone Foreshore in 1940. From 1952 recorded sound was dubbed onto Church produced cine films. In about 1956 Mr Ernest Adams (of baking fame) paid for the fitting out of a fully equippped sound recording and copying studio in the Presbyterian Centre in Christchurch. This enabled multiple reel to reel General Assembly news, Committee and Missionary "propaganda" tapes to be produced, particularly for Parish use. From the 1970's commercially produced cassette tapes and VHS video tapes came into common use as a more cost effective resource.

While the original library of reel to reel magnetic tapes has been considerably culled from that offered in the original 1960's era sound tape catalogues we still hold a considerable number of historic recordings including many from private sources. These have now been digitised under a special project and we are currently working on setting up a suitable database which will incude details of content, date, location and speakers.

The following catalogues are an interim project and do not give yet full particulars of content. All tapes listed here are generally reel to reel unless otherwise stated :

Please click on the following links which will open in a new window. This database may also be searched via our on-site search engine.



Audio Visual Resources

A collection of the varied audio visual resources which the Archives Research Centre collects.


Tape Digitisation Project :
Karl Perry has been working on the sound tape digitisation project since January 2007 and is now completing the last of the tape transfers as well as setting up a searchable database of content.
Funding for this project has come from :
The Presbyterian Synod of Otago & Southland $25,000; Otago Community Trust $7,500; Presbyterian Savings & Development Trust $5,000; Alexander McMillan Trust $5,000; Bequest from Sr Maisie Queale $10,000 (May 2010)

Presbyterian Archives Research Centre, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010, New Zealand

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