Virtual Archive Project

The objective is to create an on-line resource about radio broadcasting in the Pacific that can be freely consulted from anywhere in the world.

Usually, archives are seen as a boring place, full of dust and darkness, out of touch with reality, and very hard to gain access to unless you’re an academic or live in the place where the archives are located. With radio memorabilia scattered over many locations in many countries, an on-line or virtual archive enables everyone to quickly and easily gain access to everywhere from this single location on the web.

Let’s use a radio station such as 1ZM Auckland, New Zealand as an example. Using a good search facility built into the database, you can

  • look at a postcard signed by the founder in 1933
  • look at a car sticker from the 1970’s
  • watch a video clip of a TV commercial from the 1980’s
  • look at a photo of the studio in the 1960’s
  • hear a broadcast from the day the station became part of the Armed Forces Radio Mosquito Network in 1944
  • check out a Top 40 chart from 1972
  • read stories written by people who used to work at 1ZM
  • find out where to read a political booklet issued by the station in the 1930’s
  • see photos of various promotional stunts
  • and listen to original station jingles
  • and much more…

These items may be physically located in such diverse places as Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand, Sydney, Los Angeles and other parts of the world. But, you’re able to see and hear them all in the one place because our volunteers and researchers have tracked them down, visitors to the web-site have contributed their own stories and photos and sounds, and everyone shares their stories about 1ZM.

Imagine what a resource this is for any number of people… to know more about early days of radio in New Zealand, study the impact of radio on different audiences over time, know what songs people used to like, follow the careers of popular entertainers and announcers, look at how studio buildings were designed, trace changes in advertising design as different logos were used, find out what happened to the buildings used by stations, and so much more.

Whether you’re a student of art, music, architecture or sociology, interested in technology changes or vintage radio receivers, carrying out genealogy research, studying the history of politics and the media, embarking on a personal journey down memory lane, or just curious about radio broadcasting and its impact on life, what people used to listen to 50 years ago, or what they’re listening to now from contemporary radio, then you’re just scratching the surface of what you’ll find in the virtual archives.

The success of the project relies heavily on people sharing memorabilia, information and memories, allowing items to be scanned, cataloged, and accessed, whether they still remain in an archive somewhere around the Pacific, or a private collection, and for contemporary radio people to take the time to preserve, protect and share today’s radio stories

You can get involved as a volunteer to bring the virtual archive on-line, contribute stories, memorabilia and materials, contact us if you have any comments or questions, and most importantly, visit and share the stories of Pacific radio with us.