The British Arts Council is recreating a large portion of the late, beloved radio DJ John Peel’s extensive record collection for an online museum project called The Space. “What we’re hoping to do is create an online interactive museum which answers [the question of what was in Peel’s collection], but also provides the audience with a visualization of it,” Tom Barker, director of the John Peel Centre, told 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 65, was a DJ on BBC Radio 1 for nearly 40 years, and was famous for being at the forefront of new music, both from the United Kingdom and abroad. In that time, he amassed a collection of approximately 25,000 vinyl LPs, 40,000 vinyl singles and a vast number of CDs.
The online archive project will be ongoing, with the Centre planning to upload about 100 new records each week, as well as making available some of Peel’s personal notes, filmed interviews and archives of his live sessions with bands.