Subseries 3 - Records of Berkeley Studio

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Records of Berkeley Studio

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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Reference code

CA ON00340 F515-13-3

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Physical description area

Physical description

4.4 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

The Division of Communication was formed in 1968 resulting from studies, consultations and debates cumulating in the amalgamation of the former Board of Information and Stewardship and the former Board of Publication. The original mission was to promote the Christian gospel as well as the work and life of the Church to church members and the public utilizing contemporary media. As a result of General Council restructuring, the Division became the Resource Production and Distribution Unit in 2002. The Unit had a similar mandate to its predecessor: to support General Council Office presentation of the United Church to the public through appropriate media; respond to the needs of congregations and partners for resources of various media; and provide effective distribution. However under this new division, aspects of work moved to the General Council Support and Services Unit: Staff members from the area of information services and media relations moved there and General Council Ministers had the responsibility for development of an overall communication strategy for the church. The remainder of the Division moved to six interconnecting parts: United Church resource distribution, Berkeley and UCTV, Resource Coordination, Graphics and Print, Marketing, Wed Design and Production. In 2010 the Unit was renamed Communications and like the Division’s mission in the past, it is responsible for supporting the General Council Office and the denomination by presenting the public face of The United Church of Canada through a variety of media and services. From a more modern perspective the unit helps to foster congregational life, personal spiritual formation, and effective administration of the church through social media, web services, public and media relations, statistics management, and the production and distribution of print and multimedia resources.

Custodial history

Scope and content

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.

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General note

Since Berkeley Studio was the production facility for Media Services please refer to the unit and departmental records captured in the other series for works produced by them: ie. Series 4-8. Unclaimed works and administration files of Berkeley have been placed in this series.

Physical description

Includes: 9512 photographs, 1239 film reels, 105 video tapes, 384 audio reels, 251 audio tapes, 1 floppy disc.

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