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Museum acquires local film archive

By March 18, 2021March 19th, 2021Museum, News

Orange Regional Museum has welcomed the decision to donate a major film archive detailing twenty years of the region’s history.

Prime Television has donated the archive, which includes approximately 180 hours of locally produced 16mm news, sport and current affairs footage dating from 1962 to 1982, when Orange’s local TV station operated as CBN-8 and Midstate Television.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd has thanked Prime Television for the gift.

“This archive is extremely significant for the history of the region, both in terms of the breadth of material about recent events, as well as for its value as part of the history of an important Orange organisation that employed generations of locals,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“The dozens of 16mm film canisters have just arrived. They seem to be in fantastic condition considering their age, but we’re only beginning to imagine what local events might’ve been captured in local news coverage.

“This week in 1962, Orange-based broadcaster CBN Channel 8 went to air for the first time. There’d been test patterns and sound testing in the preceding weeks, but on St Patrick’s Day, 17 March 1962, the company, called Country Television Services, put the first full-length program to air.

“Hundreds of local residents got a start at the local station and went on to work in the TV industry across Australia. There are many former staff still here in Orange and we’re hoping to get a group of volunteers together to help put names and places as the Museum creates a catalogue of this collection.”

Prime Television’s Orange Station Manager Rod Monk said the company was delighted to make the donation.

“One of the most important side-roles of producing a daily news bulletin since the 1960s, is capturing a contemporary account for history,” Rod Monk said. “Prime Television is very pleased to be making this donation.”

“In years to come, this daily news coverage is going to deliver a fascinating glimpse into the lives of everyday Australians in western NSW in the sixties and seventies. The Orange Regional Museum is the ideal place to preserve and catalogue these moving pictures to make sure they are available for future generations.”


Beginning with five hours of programming a day from 5.30pm, the CBN-8 studios on the Bathurst Road/Lone Pine Avenue corner soon became a major local employer. Over the years local production crews generated many hundreds of hours of original content from across the central west including a regional news service, ‘Rural Roundup’, ‘Weekend Report’, ‘Sports Action’ and event programming.

Orange Regional Museum Manager Dr Mary-Elizabeth Andrews believes the new collection will benefit exhibitions for years to come.

“This is a really exciting acquisition,” Dr Andrews said. “Looking at the content of just one news compilation reel we have a Festival of Arts procession in Orange, the Canowindra Heritage Carnival, women’s basketball, baseball, pigeon racing, water shortages, local politicians, agricultural shows and much more.”

“We can’t wait to discover more from this incredible archive.”

This major acquisition will allow the Museum to preserve and display the history of the regional broadcaster as well as the many different topics, people, places and events represented captured in news footage.

It was kindly donated by Prime Television with assistance from DAMSmart audio visual digitisation services. The Museum hopes to generate interest to assist with the digitisation and documentation of the collection over the coming months.

One Comment

  • Laretta Tereza Goodacre says:

    Hi, Orange Regional Museum!
    My husband worked with Prime Television, from February 1981 – 1982 (My husband was born on 17th march, 1963).
    He moved on to Capital 7 TV in Canberra, with Kerry Stokes, in TV production .. then on to Channel 9, SBS, Channel 4 UK, BBC ..
    To cut a long story short, we became TV freelancers, and purchased a SONY Betacam camera, which has taken us all over Australia.

    And if you have any interest, or room, we would like to give our camera to the museum.

    We look forward to your reponse

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