The files contain miscellaneous clumps of papers relating to contributions by composers before 1963. (The official dates for this Registry sequence were for papers created between 1922 and 1962, but Accession Books list files as dating from the 1930s onwards.) Paperwork is held in relation to national, regional and overseas contributions.
These papers usually refer to those who had few or no compositions accepted by the BBC before 1963 and were not considered to have enough paperwork to warrant their own personal file. If a composer is not listed in the run of files for RCONT1 , they may have unlisted papers held within the RCONT10 files.
The papers consist mainly of correspondence from external contributors who contacted the BBC regarding their original compositions. Composers submitted examples of their work in the form of manuscript scores or recordings in attempts to have them accepted for broadcast by the BBC. Some composers submitted work only to gain professional feedback, which was usually refused.
Such compositions were not usually retained in the files as the work was either accepted or, in many instances, rejected and returned to the author. The occasional papers will still hold some examples of original scores and songs that did not find their way back to the author, although this is a rare occurrence.
The papers also include internal correspondence that would issue instructions on how to proceed with composition submissions. Internal memos and reports can include written feedback on individual pieces and recommendations towards acceptance or rejection. Copies of correspondence sent to composers informing them of the Reading Panel’s decision were also kept on file. The Reading Panel was an independent panel of readers who would appraise new compositions and make recommendations of acceptance or rejection.