Part of the late venerable radio DJ John Peel’s extensive record collection will be available online via a British Arts Council project called The Space, according to the BBC.
The John Peel Centre, located in Stowmarket, England, has set out to re-create Peel’s collection, which numbers some 25,000 vinyl LPs and 40,000 vinyl singles in addition to a large number of CDs, to answer the question, “what is in John Peel’s record collection?”
“What we’re hoping to do is create an online interactive museum which answers [that question], but also provides the audience with a visualization of it,” said Tom Barker, director of the John Peel Centre, to the BBC. “This is the first step in the journey of making one of the most important archives in modern music history available completely.”
Peel, who died in 2004 at age 65 of a heart attack while working in Peru, enjoyed a career that spanned almost 40 years as a radio DJ for BBC Radio 1 in Britain and a reputation for consistently breaking new bands.
The project will be ongoing, with the Centre hoping to upload about 100 new vinyls to the archive each week, as well as making some of his personal notes, filmed interviews, and BBC radio archives of his sessions available. In total, the project will run from May until October, meaning that 2,500 albums from his extensive collection will be entered into the online database. Each album’s artwork will be scanned and uploaded as well.
The Peel Centre expect to find out the fate of their application to the Arts Council later this week; the Centre applied for an £85,000 ($133,500) grant to aid the project.