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What better way to celebrate World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, than showcasing some film, video, and audio gems in the State Library’s collection. 

This year we are featuring newly digitised tourism films and video collections which promoted Adelaide and South Australia to the world from the 1960’s to 1990’s. These moving images are mini time capsules that show the evolving cityscape, fashions, cars, and technology over the decades. It’s fascinating looking back at how we saw ourselves and what we felt were the best things about our state. How much has changed and how much has stayed the same! 

Circa 1969 - Adelaide - Flowers and festival

Starting with Adelaide - flowers and festival (SLSA: Zfilm 106 - c1969), this film shows events in the biennial Festival of Arts and the annual Flower Day of 1968. Adelaide celebrated Flower Day annually from 1938 to 1975 and it made a return in 2021. The footage includes a ‘welcome said with flowers’ to performers Marlene Dietrich, Marcella Reale, Morag Beaton, Lucero Tena, and the Elizabethan Theatre Trust Orchestra. There is also a look inside the Art Gallery’s display for the 5th Adelaide Festival of Arts. This is quite possibly the moment the phrase “Mad March” was coined! 

Circa 1978 - Days I'll remember in SA

 A decade on, we have our pick of the bunch with the delightful, Days I'll remember in South Australia (SLSA: Zv 152 - c1978). The star quality of the state of South Australia and one of its daughters, Julie Anthony, is revealed in this prestigious tourism film. Specially composed music, and superb visuals combine to present the major tourist attractions of South Australia: The River Murray, Port Lincoln, the Barossa Valley, the Adelaide Hills, the Flinders Ranges, and the city of Adelaide. Julie Anthony's singing adds a special dimension to the whole film. We couldn’t get this song out of our heads and are delighted to share this snippet.


 Circa 1982 - Adelaide: it's got that feeling

Adelaide: it's got that feeling (SLSA: Zfilm 1 – c1982) which highlights Adelaide's charm as a city to live in, as well as a holiday and convention destination.  

Circa 1985 - Adelaide and a taste of South Australia

Adelaide and a taste of South Australia (SLSA: Zv 592 – c1985)

Circa 1997 - South Australia - More than you can imagine

 The push for South Australia as a convention destination came to the fore in the 1990’s, clearly seen in South Australia - more than you can imagine (SLSA: Zv961 – c1997). 


At the State Library we know just how important preserving this material is. 

All audio-visual formats are at risk of catastrophic failure, whether it’s due to fading dyes in colour films, vinegar syndrome causing acetate films to shrink, buckle and eventually crumble, or audio and video tapes considered lost to time if not digitised by the year 2025, read more about Deadline 2025.  

The State Library of South Australia has thousands of audio-visual items at risk. To protect them from loss, we have a rigorous preservation program with highly experienced experts, state-of-the-art studios, cold storage, and a dedicated digital preservation system.  

Written by the Digitisation and Digital Preservation team