Thursday, December 15, 2011

Saving our Precious Sound and Film Archive

Over the years there have been numerous recordings made on Norfolk Island, capturing the people, events and environment of the island. Some have been made for public use such as the wonderful Norfolk Legacy tape from the early 1980s, which is shown and sold at the Pier Store museum. Other recordings are family films, the ones many of us have made over the years capturing weddings, birthdays, Christmas or special family gatherings. There are also films that have been made by tourists and visitors, and others that have been made as part of tourism promotion. Various sound recordings have also been made, sometimes professionally done, at other times when a tape recorder is whipped out to capture the words of an older family member as they recount a story from their youth.

In 2006 the Museum Trust undertook the Oral History Project, interviewing over 30 older islanders who talked on a range of subjects relating to life on Norfolk Island. Those tapes are now in the process of being transcribed and translated where Norf’k has been spoken. They will also become part of the valuable collection of material that is the visual and oral recordings of our culture, heritage and history.

Together with the Museum the Norfolk Island Historical Society is keen to ensure that recordings held around the island are kept in good condition and copied into digital formats. The Historical Society will be embarking on a project that will aim to convert film, tape and VHS to digital formats and will be asking people if they would like their recordings converted and for a copy to be kept with the Society. While the project is still unfolding, both our organisations are keen to make everyone aware of these plans and to ask that any recordings that might be found during ‘spring cleaning’ be safely put to one side.

Another of the wonderful images that has been scanned from photograph albums in the Museum collection contains these wonderful images from Princess Juju, a school concert held in 1924. We would love to know the names of any of the people in the photo, please contact me on 23788 if you can help.

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