UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Broadcast archives: a diplomatic examination Simpson, Janice Louise


This special diplomatics’ study examines the applicability and usefulness of diploniatics for the analysis of broadcast archives, and specifically, of sound and moving image documents. The traditional model of diplomatic analysis, devised for dispositive and probative documents, was found not applicable to supporting and narrative documents, which constitute most of contemporary archival material. The documents that are characteristic of the broadcast industry in particular are supporting documents; therefore, a new model of diplomatic analysis based on the same principles and methods as the traditional one was developed in this thesis for supporting documents generated by the broadcast industry. The new model was successfully used to analyze textual and non-textual, early and contemporary documents produced by different types and sizes of radio and television stations. The analysis showed that the formation, form, and transmission of supporting documents in the broadcast industry has not changed significantly over time; that, although the organization of every broadcast station is unique and constantly changing, there is a basic organizational structure for all broadcast stations regardless of size; and, that the functions of all stations are basically the same. The analysis also revealed that the model, the scheme, and the procedure of criticism used in this thesis provide an understanding which would assist in appraisal, arrangement, and description of specific broadcast archives. The bottom-up/top-down integrated approach to the analysis supports the understanding of the documentary, administrative and juridical context of the documents in question, and demonstrates that diplomatics can be used to devise new tools for the examination and study of new types of documents. The study concludes that broadcast archives in general, and sound and moving image documents in particular, can be profitably analyzed according to diplomatic principles and methods.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.