John Peel’s record collection is to be made into an interactive online museum. Peel’s collection, which contains 25,000 LPs, 40,000 singles and many thousands of CDs, will become part of The Space, a new experimental digital service organised and funded by the Arts Council and the BBC. The Arts Council will provide initial funding while the BBC will provide support and development advice. Further funding will be sought in the future to complete the project and make every record available online. Tom Barker, Director, John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, said:
“It is the first step in creating an interactive online museum with access to the entire collection, one of the most important archives in modern music history.”
Frank Prendergast of Eye Film And Television added:
“The idea is to digitally recreate John’s home studio and record collection, which users will be able to interact with and contribute to, while viewing Peel’s personal notes, archive performances and new filmed interviews with musicians.”
Sheila Ravenscroft, John Peel’s wife and Patron of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts also commented, stating:
“We’re very happy that we’ve finally found a way to make John’s amazing collection available to his fans, as he would have wanted. This project is only the beginning of something very exciting.”
The Space will run from May to October across various platforms including PCs and smartphones, while it will also be available as a red button on-demand service via Freeview HD. Arts Council England is committing up to £3.5m, while the BBC is contributing to the partnership by developing the technological solutions and providing ongoing support.