The collection consists of photographs, radio scripts and printed material. The photographs contained in one album mainly detail Robertson's time with the Malayan Forestry Service dating from 1940 to 1941. However there are a number of photographs at the back of the album which cover his trip with P D Noone to record Temiar Dream music at a village near Grik in Upper Perak.
The radio scripts date from 1939 to 1945 and relate to radio transmissions in Malaya and the Far East. Most of these were scripted and/or broadcast by Eric Robertson, however Peggie Broadhead worked on the Experimental Schools Broadcasts.
The printed material includes several pamphlets about India dating from 1940s, but because some of the items are missing, this series has not yet been catalogued.
University of Cambridge Library, report on Recordings of Ple-Temiar Dream Music by Eric Robertson
A collection of the recordings are on a 1955 Folkways album held at the Smithsonian:
Eric D Robertson specialised in forestry work, and in 1937 moved to Malaya as Scientific Officer employed by Messrs Guthrie and Co. From 1938-39 he planned and implemented the extension of the embryonic organisation set up by Guthrie's for research into soil science and plant genetics. On completing this work he was appointed to the forestry division of the Colonial Service. His duties included the preparation of a 10-year working plan for the Matang Mangrove forest. He spent his leave with Pat Noone, Field Ethnographer based in Perak, and he was interested in the effects of a shifting cultivation on tropical forests.
In 1941, Robertson joined the Malaya Broadcasting Corporation and from 1943 was appointed Special Officer in charge of Far East Broadcasts based in Delhi, India. He spent the war years broadcasting radio updates throughout Asia and India. He helped to broadcast regular detailed news updates of the Allied struggle against the Axis forces, with updates coming from Europe, Asia and Africa. His detailed transcripts reveal a fresh perspective towards radio broadcasting, with the introduction of dramatized news reports so that radio would appeal to a wider audience. In 1945 he joined the BBC World Service in London.
Peggie Broadhead, who later married Eric Robertson, also worked for the Malaya Broadcasting Corporation from 1941-42 where she set up the new 'Experimental Broadcasts for Schools' series, giving children a new outlook on topical issues and the history of some of their neighbouring countries. When the war disrupted this initiative, she worked on other programmes as required.
On their marriage and with their move to India, from 1942-44 Peggie Robertson held the post of Chief Assistant to Lt Colonel Wheeler who ran the Foreign Publicity Office in New Delhi. In post-War Britain she had a successful career of her own as a radio and television broadcaster. She died on 6 October 2010.
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