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Post Office: Broadcasting

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0813 POST 89 Series
Held at: British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive
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Full title: Post Office: Broadcasting
Date(s): 1922-1992
Level of description: Series
Extent: 63 files
Name of creator(s): Post Office


Administrative/Biographical history:

The role of the Post Office in broadcasting began as an extension of the monopoly on telecommunications into the area of wireless telephony. Initially, the transmission of sound by radio was viewed as a new means for sending messages, rather than a potential tool for broadcasting.

The Post Office was responsible for issuing wireless licenses from the 1920s and also for the cabling relating to wireless. It derived these powers from the Wireless Telegraph Act of 1904; in this act it was provided that in order to operate an apparatus either for transmitting and receiving wireless signals, it was necessary to have a licence and also that this licence may be in a form and with conditions determined by the Postmaster General. The Broadcasting Department also afforded facilities to the Post Office for announcing policy developments, such as the introduction of reduced telephone charges.

It was also responsible in the 1950s for issuing television licenses and introduced detecting vans who 'combed' the country for illicit television receivers, i.e. those individuals who had not obtained a television licence.

Upon the creation of the new Post Office Corporation in 1969, the Broadcasting Department of the former GPO was assimilated (with its active files) into the new Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.


Scope and content/abstract:

Includes papers of the Sykes, Crawford, Selsdon, Ullswater and Beveridge broadcasting committees. Also includes reports of the Television Advisory Committees and correspondence and papers relating to the technical aspects of broadcasting. Also contains reports relating to licensing and licence evasion.

Access & Use

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Conditions governing access:

Public Record

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Archival Information

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Allied Materials

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Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
EAD transfer validated May 2011

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