The legendary DJs collection of 25,000 LPs, 40,000 singles and thousands of CDs is set to become part of a new interactive digital service organised and funded by the Arts Council and the BBC: The Space.
The Space will run from May to October across computers, smartphones and as an on-demand service via Freeview HD (in the UK).
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. Further funding will be sought in the future to complete the project and make every record available online.
Director of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Tom Barker, 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.”
Peel’s wife and Patron of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Sheila Ravenscroft, also commented: “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.”
John Peel – DJ, radio presenter, record producer and journalist – was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting from 1967 until his death in 2004.