Sylvia Cowling recalls the technological changes in her role

Lynn Lloyd, who has now died, unfortunately. I remember when she was shop steward coming in one day and saying, “I’m going to America.” Oh, yes? She and somebody from the newsroom, whose name I can’t remember beyond Eleanor. I think she may have been one of the live shot people, but in the newsroom. The company paid for them to go to America to see Ted Turner’s outfit. Was that in Atlanta? But it was basically the tape business, the immediacy of tape and see how it happens. And she went there, and of course shortly afterwards news went from film to tape. Was it always Beta? I can’t remember. Beaten then became Beta SP. And we had viewing machines for those in the library. So the news material on tape, in the same way as it had come in on film, would now come in on Betas and that would be viewed and catalogue and classified.

So, did it change your job that much?

It got us much more involved with tape. That’s the thing I can say, much more involved in tape. It was just a different medium. We just dealt with it. Yes. Put it on the shelves in the same way. 

Did film eventually disappear altogether?

Did film disappear altogether? No, I don’t… there were always those that clung to film, but I must say largely, it did go to tape. Definitely. And then we were just recording incidences of World in Action’s or whatever. But of course, World in Action came to an end, didn’t they? Documentaries came to an end, really. Yes. I mean, it got to the stage where we weren’t storing the material anymore because we didn’t store video tape, but we did still stored Betas because they were nice and small. But we still kept a record of what it was.

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