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Memorial University of Newfoundland - Digital Archives Initiative

Newfoundland National Convention



On December 10, 2014 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) presented Memorial University and The Rooms with over 200 hours of recordings from the Newfoundland National Convention.
There were 125 audio files with an average duration of 2 hours.
The original WAV files were converted to MP3 and the MP3 files were run through an audio restoration and normalization process.
For streaming purposes the MP3 files can be listened to here. The original WAV files are stored at the QEII Library and the Rooms.
The audio is arranged by date with a summary of each session’s contents in a descriptive note.

Christine Davies CBC Background notes

The Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland (BCN) carried radio coverage of the National Convention from 1946 through 1948, giving audiences an unprecedented access to the most important debate in the dominion's history.

BCN covered the opening ceremony at the Colonial Building on September 11, 1946, and then pulled the microphones. Over the next six weeks, BCN broadcast daily reports between 9:15p.m. and 9:45p.m., except Sunday.

On October 28, 1946, the microphones went back as BCN began recording the proceedings for broadcast each evening, starting at 9:15 p.m. through to midnight.

The return of the BCN microphones to the Colonial Building coincided with Joseph Smallwood's introduction of a motion to send a delegation to Ottawa to investigate the possibility of confederation. From here on in, listeners across the province came to recognize the voices Smallwood, Peter Cashin, Michael Harrington, etc., as their elected delegates debated the future of their country.

As the Convention closed, its final resolution on January 29, 1948 was to express its gratitude to the BCN for its "fine public service in broadcasting the proceedings of the convention." The closing ceremony was the following day.

In 1968, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador deposited 635 16-inch discs (transcription discs) containing 254 hours and 38 minutes of the proceedings of the Newfoundland National Convention with the Public Archives of Canada, now known as Library and Archives of Canada, or LAC, in Ottawa. LAC dubbed the recordings to 10.5" reel tapes, copies of which were subsequently sent back to CBC in St. John's and the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1974.

A 1999 CBC preservation project transferred the audio content of the recordings to DAT (digital audio tape) from reel. In 2012, CBC initiated yet another preservation project (spearheaded by Christine Davies in St. John's and Tammy Moorse in Toronto) to digitize the material as data files.

The original transcription discs are housed in a vault at LAC's Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Que.

Links

CBC: Historic signals: BCN broadcasts the National Convention
CBC: Listen to key BCN moments of the National Convention
Thesis: Newfoundland National Convention, 1946-48 - Jeff A. Webb
Michael Harrington Photographs

Sponsor

Memorial University - Centre for Newfoundland Studies

Associated Website:

Centre for Newfoundland Studies

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