The National Film and Sound Archive’s (NFSA) mission is simple: collect and preserve significant audio and visual items for sharing now and in the future. From rare Tasmanian tiger footage, to Hugo Weaving’s iconic Priscilla flip-flop dress and the world’s first feature film, Charles Tait’s, ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’ (1906). To date, they’ve amassed more than 2.8 million artefacts!
The NFSA Australia sound collection alone includes over 124,000 disc recordings, 33,000 tapes, 137,000 digital files, 17,000 vinyl LPs, 50,000 CDs… You get the picture. Also, by the sheer force of this unique collection’s size and inherent quality, it’s a true encapsulation of the sounds of our diverse national experiences.
The overarching curatorial principles of the NFSA Australia are broad, to say the least. Basically, the goal is to amass a historical record of Australian audio and visual creative and technical achievement. Also, via the ‘Nominate a Sound’ initiative we can all contribute.
Every year, as a result of public nominations, ten new sounds are added to the Sounds of Australia collection. Any recorded Australian audio is eligible, as long as it’s no more than ten years old. So far, public additions to the collection range from historic speeches, to animal field recordings, radio jingles and anthropological studies.
But it’s the songs that perhaps most vividly capture our memories and feelings of nostalgia for time and place. In this playlist, we present a sampler of the NFSA Australia approved songs of the past century that help to make us.