Fonds MG 20 volume 1375-1385; Graphic: 1992-396. - CHNS fonds

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CHNS fonds

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NSHP MG 20 volume 1375-1385; Graphic: 1992-396.

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212 audio discs and other materials

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Biographical history

The radio broadcasting station CHNS was founded in 1925 by Major William C. Borrett and fellow members of the Halifax Radio Listeners' Club, Cecil Landry, Lionel Shatford and John Redmond. The group launched its first broadcast from the Carleton Hotel on 12 May 1926, with technical support from the Northern Electric Co. In the same year, the station came under the ownership of Halifax Herald Ltd.; in 1936 ownership was transferred to the Maritime Broadcasting Co. Borrett served as CHNS managing director from 1926 until his retirement in 1951. The station produced news, education, and entertainment programs. Popular among its early programs were "Uncle Mel" a children's comedy show by broadcaster Hugh Mills, "Atlantic Nocturne", a program featuring readings to organ accompaniment by J. Frank Willis, and "Tales Told Under the Old Town Clock", Borrett's own program on Nova Scotia history. CHNS also acted as the outlet for CBC programs to the network until the CBC established its own station in Halifax in 1940. In November of the same year, CHNS moved its studios from the Lord Nelson Hotel to its own building, Broadcasting House on Tobin Street. In 1947, CHNS launched CHNS-FM to simulcast the programming of CHNS-AM.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of sound recordings of radio programs produced and broadcast by CHNS including "Tales Told Under the Town Clock", "Report from Parliament Hill", "Soldiers of the Press", and "Your Children Sing", as well as various commercials and advertisements. Fonds also contains textual records, the majority of which include scripts, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other research material relating to "Tales Told Under the Old Town Clock". Also includes other broadcast scripts; sheet music used for instrumentals on CHNS broadcasts; question sheets for "ABC Quiz" and "IQ Challenge"; scrapbooks of newspaper clippings pertaining to radio shows, celebrities and wartime events; advertisers' receipt books; and daily journals describing broadcasts and sponsors. Fonds also contains photographs, most of which were taken by local commercial photographers between 1926 and 1970, depicting CHNS offices, studios and equipment, performers and musical groups featured on CHNS, company executives and announcers including William C. Borrett and J. Frank Willis, station and local events, and Moose River Gold Mine at the time of the 1936 mining accident.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Majority of material donated by CHNS, through vice president and general manager Hal Blackadar, in 1981, 1983 and 1984. Photographs donated by news director Jim Crichton in 1992.


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Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Audio reel copies of selected audio discs available.

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

No reproduction without prior written permission from CHNS.

Finding aids

Item-level descriptions of sound recordings available on SMI database and in hardcopy. File list and item list of photographs also available.

Associated materials

CHNS radio scripts found in the Herbert Leslie Stewart fonds. Photographs of CHNS are also found in the Edward A. Bollinger fonds.

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Physical description

Includes: 127 audio reels (1/4 in.), 1.3 m of textual material, 79 photographs. First accession of sound recordings and textual records in poor physical condition.

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