The Alexandra Palace Televison Society has been in existence since 1993 and during that time has steadily increased the number of items within the Archive. From an initial 400 items the Archive currently stands at nearly 5,000 individual items.
Consulting the Archive
The Society's Archive holdings are available for consultation for anyone wishing to research the history of British Television, and wish to concentrate on the formative years of the service at Alexandra Palace. A charge is imposed for some of the services we offer.
At present there are over 50 hours of audio tapes, usually recorded in group sessions, of three or more. Mostly they contain reminiscences of working live at Alexandra Palace and various television practices during the formative years of the television service and during the late 1940's and early 1950's.
The collection now comprises a variety of books concerning various aspects of television from production and technical, to picture and coffee-table books.
Magazine & Newspaper Cuttings
Files are being collated containing press cuttings from the early 1930's up to the present day, concerning all aspects of television, personalities, production methods, and programmes.
This collection contains a periodicals from the early 1930's to the present day concerning all aspects of television.
As the title suggests there is a large quantity of original documents from the early years of the high-definition television service, and from the years before; during the experimental broadcasts by John Logie Baird.
The Archive contains both publicity and personal photographs, depicting all areas of the television service, both pre and post-war.
Personal written accounts of working life at Alexandra Palace provide an invaluable source of reference material, capturing the 'feel' of what it was like to work for the world's first public high-definition television service.
Archive film from the pre-war era give an insight to the type of programming that was available to the small quantity of pioneer viewers. Post-war programmes show how the television service developed during the years of expansion.
Equipment held by the Archive ranges from headphones worn by television staff, a 1937 Baird 'Cathovisor' cathode-ray tube, to caption equipment used by the Outside Broadcast crews on such programmes as NOW and SATURDAY NIGHT OUT.
This collection contains a variety of scripts concerning various productions at Alexandra Palace both post and pre-war.
A collection of photocopies has been assimilated over a period of time concerning various aspects of production, transmission, support services of the televison service.
In addition to the above categories there are a growing number of key collection within the Archive that have been donated by individuals or their families.
This collection provides a unique insight into the pre-war high-definition television service. The majority of the collection consists of photographs (over 1,200 in total) taken by D R Campbell (Lighting Engineer) as a record of his own work. The collection was kindly donated by D R Campbell's son Neil.
The collection comprises the programme files of (virtually) all the programmes produced by D H Munro during the pre-war era when he was Productions Manager. Also included are four of his personal diaries covering both the opening and re-opening in 1936 and 1946 respectively. A collection of memos, reports and minutes also assist in providing an insight into the setting up of the world's first regular high-definition public television service.
Tom Edwards rose to become Master Carpenter for the Television Service. This small collection, donated by his daughter, provides a pictorial record of the range and diversity of the sets he was required to build.