About the Radio Collection

Image: Clifford Nicholls Whitta and Graham Kennedy, Radio 3UZ, c. 1953.

From Dad and Dave to Hamish and Andy, the NFSA’s radio collection spans the period from the first quarter of the 20th century to today.

The NFSA collects and preserves titles created for Australian commercial and community radio stations and networks. Thanks to the generosity of collectors, producers and stations the collection includes a wide variety of genres from drama serials, variety and quiz shows, jingles, news and current affairs, talk shows, documentaries, sport and inaugural broadcasts to recordings of significant events and natural disasters.

The vintage collection from the golden age of radio in the mid-20th century includes drama serials like Dad and Dave, Night Beat and When A Girl Marries; talent shows such as the long-running Australian Amateur Hour; and quiz shows like Pick-A-Box with Bob Dyer. The Binny Lum collection of radio interviews, recorded in the 1960s with a multitude of Australian and international personalities, is available for listening on the NFSA SoundCloud page.

Contemporary programs include breakfast and drive shows from commercial networks and producers. We hold the archive of programs by Hamish and Andy, significant events such as Australia Day programs broadcast by Radio Redfern in 1988 and reportage of natural disasters like the 2009 Victorian bushfires. As well as recordings, the collection includes a unique collection of radio-related scrapbooks, scripts and photographs.

Given the large size of Australia’s commercial and community radio sectors, the NFSA focuses its program selection on titles with cultural, historic and aesthetic significance, guided by the NFSA collection policy. The collection aims to illustrate the diversity of Australian radio production, developments in the industry and its history.

Collection Offers

If you have radio material that you wish to offer the NFSA, see the Collection offers page or contact:

Radio Unit
National Film and Sound Archive
PH: 02 6248 2000
Freecall: 1800 067 274
Email: radio [at] nfsa.gov.au

Collection Guide

Download collection guideAustralian radio series (1930s–1970s)