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John Peel’s Record Collection to be Made Public

One of the most revered record collections in the world – that of music legend John Peel – is to be made into an interactive online museum for the public, as part of The Space – a new experimental digital service organised and funded by the Arts Council and the BBC.

The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket, and its Norwich project partner Eye Film and Television have been granted funding for the project and given exclusive access by the family to John Peel’s record collection which includes 25,000 LPs, 40,000 singles and many thousands of CDs. The Arts Council will provide initial funding, and the BBC will provide support and development advice, after which further funding will be sought to complete the project and make every record available online.

“It is the first step in creating an interactive online museum with access to the entire collection, which is one of the most important archives in modern music history.” (Tom Barker, Director, John Peel Centre for Creative Arts)

“The idea is to digitally recreate John’s home studio and record collection, which users will be able to interact with and contribute to, whilst viewing Peel’s personal notes, archive performances and new filmed interviews with musicians.” (Frank Prendergast – Eye Film and Television’s Creative Director)

Sheila Ravenscroft, John Peel’s wife and Patron of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts said: “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”.

Eye Film and Television has a long-standing relationship with the Peel family having worked on a number of television projects with him including the ITV series “Going Home”. Eye will be working with the John Peel Centre, musicians and fans to create the digital content for the platform.

The Space will run from May to October across PCs, smartphones, tablets, internet connected TVs and will also be available as a red button, video 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.

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