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TV Exhibitions at the State Library of South Australia

Home > Adelaide > Exhibitions | Free | Indoor | Libraries | Television
by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at www.facebook.com/Down-to-Earth-Tours-1491827191071798/
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Tune in to the fascination of TV
Whether you want to relive the heyday of locally produced TV shows or have an interest in the development of TV in South Australia from its inception in 1959, then there are two exhibitions on at the State Library of South Australia which should be on your calendar to visit.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
Be on TV - Photo Opportunity


Channel 9 Adelaide - 1959 to Now

As Channel 9 was the first television station to be granted a licence to broadcast here in South Australia in September 1959, the story of its journey from humble beginnings right through to its current place as a large media company is told through posters, old footage of locally produced TV shows from the early days and memorabilia.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
Lionel Williams front and centre


Anne Wills, part of Channel 9's history since 1965 when she started with them as the weather presenter, has lent to the exhibition some of her collection of a total of 19 Logies received over the years.

There is also a fascinating collection of film reels and tapes showing the development of production processes since the 1950's up to today, including original footage of the visit by The Beatles in 1964.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
Nostalgic Tapes and Reels


Rare documents showing the purchase of the original land in North Adelaide with details of prices are displayed, together with the establishment of the transmission tower up at Mount Lofty.

The number of locally produced TV shows from the 1950's and 1960's highlight a different era in television popularity and capability and include shows ranging from children's productions such as The Channel Niners to night time variety with Adelaide Tonight. It's a great place to reminisce at this exhibition with photos of all of the early local TV stars, including variety, news, weather and children's personalities.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
Humphrey B Bear


It is fascinating to read some of the early scripts for Adelaide Tonight which incorporate all of the ad breaks and schedules.

On the way out of this exhibition is a re-created lounge room, with old vinyl lounge chairs, a magazine table covered in Radio TV guides and the old square black and white "box" complete with antennah.

This exhibition is being showcased in the Institute Building and attached Ante-Room and runs from 8 April through to 19 June 2016, and it's at no cost.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
Time warp lounge room


Begin Transmission: SA Turns On the Television

The State Library of South Australia (SLSA) has a vast collection of South Australian memorabilia in its archives (not just books) and through the advent of regular exhibitions, a lot of the material is brought out for public display.

SLSA have raided their collections to produce an exhibition in the Treasures Wall which traces the development of TV in South Australia and some of the iconic shows and TV personalities that have emerged over the years.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
Famous TV faces


A feature wall has been put together made of TV Week front pages, showing many famous faces both local, interstate and overseas that have graced the magazine over the years, and is certainly eye-catching as you approach the Treasures Wall display.

The memorabilia includes the first ever TV guide produced for day one of transmission in Adelaide and the first ever TV Licence granted to Joan Jackson in 1959.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
First ever TV Licence in SA


Although television had developed in the US during the 1920's and UK during the 1930's, it was much longer before Australia would adopt the concept and start transmission. The story of this development is covered really well, with original demonstrations in Australia carried out in 1949, with final transmissions commencing in Sydney and Melbourne in 1956, followed by the other states including South Australia in 1959.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
TV Camera


TV has been a big part of our lives over the years and it is interesting to reflect on its development and be able to relive some of the well known and not so well known locally produced programs and TV personalities that invaded our screens on a daily basis.

The Treasures Wall exhibition is on from 8 April until 5 June 2016 and again is free to visit.

TV Exhibition State Library SA
TV Week iconic covers
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Why? Free exhibitions tracing the history and development of TV in SA
When: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm, excluding Public Holidays
Phone: 08 8207 7250
Where: State Library of South Australia
Cost: Free
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