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United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.
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United Church of Canada Division of Communication fonds

  • CA ON00340 F515
  • Fonds
  • 1926-2016, predominantly 1968-2002

Fonds consists of fourteen series: 1) Records relating to Administration and Finance, 1967-2012, 2) Records of the United Church Publishing House, 1967-2010, 3) Records of the Retail and Distribution Department/United Church Resource Distribution, 1986-2010, 4) Records of the Graphics and Print Department, 1975-2001, 5) Records relating to Resource Coordination, 1990-2012, 6) Records relating to Publicity, Education and Information, 1969-2016, 7) Records relating to Communication Education, 1968-1997, 8) Records of the Committee on Education for Mission and Stewardship/Department of Education for Mission, 1926-1997, 9) Records relating to Regional/Conference Relations, 1967-1980, 10) Records relating to Special Projects, 1968-1982, 11) Records of the Department of Audio Visuals, 1962-1974, 12) Records of the Department of Broadcasting, 1942-1978, 13) Records of the Department of Media Services and Media Resources, 1948-2007, 14) Records relating to Website Management, 1997-2013.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Mission Study

Mission Study were resources created for study groups of various ages and types including children and UCW. Often a Mission Theme was developed.

Subseries contains records re Mission Study, 1926-1979, which includes minutes of editorial committees relating to work with children and adults, 1971-1975, correspondence of the Mission Editor, Nancy Hardy, relating to publications and study kits, and with interdenominational bodies.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Directors

Subseries contains the records of Keith Woollard who served as the Associate Secretary responsible for the Department of Broadcasting during its existence, and the records of Des McCalmont who served as media staff. Subseries contains project files, scripts and correspondence 1942-1978.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Department of Broadcasting

The Department of Broadcasting was transferred to the Division of Communication from the Board of Information in 1968. The Department was responsible for the production of radio and television of the Church, training and assisting regional and Conference broadcast staff, and responding to the major broadcasting networks. A large part of the production work was carried on in association with interchurch bodies including Religious Television Associates (RTA), the production arm of Interchurch Broadcasting.
RTA helped to produce "Spectrum" for a Toronto television station. In addition, the Department was responsible for United Church participation in the National Religious Advisory Council to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and a separate Religious Advisory Committee to CFTO-TV, a Canadian Television (CTV) affiliate.

Series contains six subseries: 1) Administrative Records, 1967-1972, 2) Records of the Directors, 1942-1978, 3) Records relating to Television Work, 1968-1969, 4) Records relating to Cable Work, 1970-1972, 5) Records of the Assistant Director of Radio and Television, 1956-1973, 6) Record relating to Religious Television Associates, 1961-1972.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Nancy Edwards Programming

Nancy Edwards joined the Department of Radio and Television of the Board of Information and Stewardship as an Assistant to the Director in 1956, and until her retirement in 1980 held various positions (subsequently in the Departments of Broadcasting and Media Services) relating to radio production. During her involvement with the Departments she hosted two radio shows, "Nancy Edwards Reports" and "The Human Gamut," which were short broadcasts featuring interviews with people of varied backgrounds, the sole topic being the interaction of people with the world around them. In addition, Edwards participated in several media organizations, especially those concerned with women in the media.

Subseries contains Nancy Edwards’ correspondence relating to her programming, reports and miscellanea. Also included are program materials and production files relating to the Nancy Edwards Reports and The Human Gamut.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Mission Resources

Subseries contains mission resources created in tandem with the Division of Mission in Canada, the Department of Stewardship Services and ecumenical groups 1954-1988. Resources were created in various printed formats, they often had av counterparts and were developed for varying age groups.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of Berkeley Studio

Berkeley Studios opened in 1956 at the site of the former Berkeley Street United Church in Toronto, and was housed there for 40 years. The building provided a dedicated facility for photographs, film and film strips, recordings and radio and TV production that aided all Church Departments in promoting the work of the United Church.

Berkeley Studios was initially formed under the Audio-Visual and Radio and Television Units of the Board of Information and Stewardship, at its inception in 1956 (authorized by the Sixteenth General Council). In 1968, Berkeley Studios became a part of the newly created Division of Communication, an amalgamation of the Board of Publication, and most operations of the Board of Information.

In the 1970s, a re-organization within the Division of Communication occurred. In 1973, Berkeley Studios became a part of the Department of Media Services, which was established as a result of the union of the Audio-Visual Resources and Broadcasting and the Communication Education units; its goal was to educate Church members in the use of communications media.

In the 1980s reorganization of the Division of Communication continued. In 1983, the Department of Media Resources/Services was established by adding the Education for Mission function. Thus, Berkeley Studios, AVEL, the Audio Visual Consultant and the mission interpretation and education programme became components of this new Department. In 1984, the Department of Media Services and Education for Mission were amalgamated to form the Department of Media Resources. Participating in inter-church and interfaith associations, its biggest challenge by 1988 was Vision TV, the interfaith religious television network in Canada.

With restructuring and the office move to 3250 Bloor Street West in 1995. Berkeley Studio which housed both the broadcast and educational/resource video teams moved as part of the Division of Communication's overall move to the new premises. In the wake of the 2001 restructuring when the divisional structure was eliminated, Berkeley became part of the Resource Production and Distribution (RPD) Unit. In 2007, Berkeley Studio was closed and its broadcasting relationship with Vision TV ended. A small video edit suite was maintained by a producer and renamed the Multimedia Unit as part of RPD. That exists today within the Communications Unit.

Subseries consists of records of the Berkeley Studio Manager, and later of the Studio Administrator. Subseries includes files regarding production data, correspondence relating to personnel, and programmes produced at Berkeley Studio, and records of committees.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Still Pictures Unit

Still pictures were originally the responsibility of the Audio-Visual Department within the Board of Information and Stewardship (created 1954). The programme was continued by the Division of Communication's Audio Visual Department prior to 1973 and then by the Department of Media Services/Media Resources Still Picture Unit. The Unit, housed at Berkeley Studios, was involved in the collection and production of photographs, slides, and film strips. Like most of the other units in Media Resources, Still Pictures existed largely to serve the needs of other Divisions as well as Conferences and Pastoral Charges, maintaining a library of materials. These filmstrips produced were created for educational purposes on behalf of departments and divisions of the Church, especially the Division of Mission in Canada, and the Division of World Outreach, and their antecedent bodies. They were also used for fund-raising awareness within the church.

Subseries consists of the following files: administrations, correspondence, photo collections, production lists, general production files, film strips and slides production files, presentation slides/slide set production files, caption material and filmstrip kits and production files.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Assistant Director of Radio and Television

Subseries contains the records of Assistant Director of Radio and Television Nancy Edwards 1956-1973. Files include production files, correspondence, financial records, committee records and communications planning. Also included are production files of the programmes “When a Child Asks” and “Tell Us a Story” which were under Nancy Edwards’s purview.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Mission Interpretation and Deputation

Subseries contains records of Mission Interpretation and Deputation, 1956-1984. Mission Interpretation and Deputation worked with the Division of World Outreach, the Division of Mission in Canada, and at the congregational level to ensure a devotion to mission understanding and support. One of its principal activities was arranging tours by missionaries on furlough in Canada. Subseries includes correspondence of the Director, correspondence to missionaries, and correspondence with Conference Coordinators of Mission Deputation for the years 1983-1984. This work was later adopted by the Department of Media Services in the 1980s.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Director’s Office

The Director's Office was occupied by G. Earl Leard (1973-1983) and Rodney M. Booth (1983-1989). As Directors they took responsibility for the entire Department, and relations with other Departments and Divisions of the Church and external bodies.

Subseries consists the Director’s correspondence, reports, and office files relating to all facets of the Media Services Department, including film, the Canadian Interfaith Network, television, radio, and still pictures, interdenominational bodies (Religious Television Associates, Interchurch Communications) and external bodies 1959-1998.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Religious Television Associates

Subseries contains production files concerning projects produced by Religious Television Associates in partnership with the Department of Broadcasting 1961-1972. Included are files kept by Keith Woollard and Peter Flemington, a producer for RTA and liaison with the Department of Broadcasting.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Audio/Visual Production Unit

Audio/Video Production became a unit within the Department of Media Services in 1976, with Betty Richardson as producer. The Unit produced mostly audio cassettes. Responsibilities included recording of General Councils, Divisional meetings, and special events, and production of materials in response to programmes of the several Church Divisions, as well as maintaining an active library. In particular it produced "Godshow," an ecumenical radio magazine show, “Make My Day” which succeeded Godshow, and "Inside Track," an information series on audio cassette for the order of ministry, and it also publishes Visual Catalogue, which lists the holdings of its library.

Subseries contains administrative files, production files and files pertaining to Godshow, Make My Day and Inside Track 1962-1989.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Department of Audio Visuals

This Department of Audio Visuals was adopted by the Division of Communication through the Board of Information in 1968. The Department was responsible for instructional communication concerned with the design and use of messages which control the learning process involved in communication research, communication education, search for resources, consultation and presentation, media production, and information and promotion. More specifically the Department produced film, still pictures (photographs, slides, filmstrips) and audio cassettes, which was usually undertaken at the request of other Divisions within the Church. The Audio Visual Education Library (AVEL) was administered by the Department during this period, and it played an early role in the provision of communication education. In 1973 the Department of Audio Visual’s joined with the Department of Broadcasting to form the Department of Media Services.

Series contains five subseries: 1) Records relating to Administration, 1967-1973, 2) Records relating to Film Production, 1968-1972, 3) Records relating to Still Picture Production, 1968-1972, 4) Records relating to Audio Cassettes Production, 1971-1972, 5) Records relating to AV Consultation and AVEL, 1968-1972.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Television and Film Unit

The Television and Film Unit and its predecessor body, the Department of Broadcasting, produced television materials as well as children's programming.The Unit was housed at Berkeley Studios. United Church Television was created to produce programing for public broadcast on a network. Most of the content was shown on Vision TV but there were a few co-productions with CBC and some relationships with European broadcasters. The other stream of work for the unit were the productions done for other Division’s of the Church. They were distributed through AVEL. The Unit was also a participant in Religious Television Associates, an interdenominational production group and produced various material in partnership with RTA. In addition it worked on or produced several film projects on human rights, development, and subjects related to priorities of other Divisions of the Church. The Unit also took responsibility for work in the field of cable television. One of the priorities after 1986 was the production of "Spirit Connection," a weekly half-hour television programme seen on Vision TV, the interfaith network.

Subseries consists of correspondence with other Divisions of the Church, interdenominational and international bodies and with Canadian broadcasting regulators; production files for films, television and radio; and miscellaneous files. Includes correspondence, legal agreements and contracts of Religious Television Associates.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Interchurch and Interfaith Communications

The Department of Media Services and later Media Resources participated in interchurch and interfaith broadcasting throughout it’s history, adopting this area of work from it’s predecessor the Department of Broadcasting. In the early years the Department was a participant in Interchurch Broadcasting and later Interchurch Communications: a channel for main-line Christian denominations. Later the Department was involved in Vistion TV and interfaith network for religious programming developed from a call for application from the CRTC.

Subseries consists of ICB and Interchurch Communications Committee minutes, reports, and correspondence as well as United Church correspondence with other participating denominations, and reports on cable television projects. Also included are files on Between Ourselves, a radio show produced by ICB, and records pertaining to the formation and operation of the Canada Interfaith Faith Network and Vision TV.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Administration and Finance

From its inception in 1968 the Division of Communication has been overseen by an Executive and a Secretary, later termed the General Secretary and Executive Minister. The Secretary and succeeding roles were the heads of the Division, and the Executive were responsible for communicating with other Division Secretaries as well as counterparts in other denominations. The Division Executive was comprised of members elected to that role by their Conference (1 per) and others elected according to function (such as Chair, Vice-chair, Committee/Taskforce Chairs etc.) by the General Council. The Executives were also responsible for setting policy and overall direction for the work to be carried out in the program units and by the staff of the Division. The Department of Finance and Administration was established in 1985 with responsibility for all of the accounting and budgeting within the Division. The department dissolved in 1993 and the work was adopted by the General Secretary’s office in 1994.

Series contains eight subseries: 1) Minutes, 1967-1999, 2) Reports, 1968-1990, 3) Correspondence, 1968-1983, 4) Financial Records, 1968-1998, 5) Office Files, 1967-2001, 6) Records of thee General Secretaries, 1968-2008, 7) Records of the Division Management Team, 1991-1998, 8) Records of the Communications Group, 2008-2012.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Office Files

Series contains office files concerning: Computers, Software and Websites; Division Events; Historical Documents; Inter-church Correspondence; Manuals, Policies and Guides; Objectives and Organizational Structure; Personnel and Job Descriptions; and Records Management and Archives 1967-2001.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

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