Business News Education & Events

University Of Manchester announces British Pop Archive and launch exhibition

By | Published on Wednesday 6 April 2022

The University Of Manchester’s John Rylands Research Institute And Library has announced the launch of a British Pop Archive which, it says, will “celebrate and preserve British popular music and other aspects of popular culture, recognising its pivotal influence on the world stage”.

The remit of the collection will include British artists and bands, UK television, youth culture and counter culture movements, from the mid-Twentieth Century to the modern day.

It will all formally launch in May with an exhibition celebrating pop culture that originated in Manchester and the North West, with various documents and items relating to – among other things – Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, The Haçienda, Factory Records and Granada Television.

Specific items within the collection with a Manchester skew include the original written vision for Joy Division as penned by their manager Rob Gretton; Ian Curtis’ handwritten lyrics to classic Joy Division songs; original posters from Sex Pistols gigs at the city’s Lesser Free Trade Hall; and important works by designer Peter Saville.

One of the people working on the archive is author and music journalist Jon Savage, who was recently appointed as Professor Of Popular Culture at the University Of Manchester.

He says: “Britain’s pop and youth culture has been transmitted worldwide for nearly sixty years now. As the most fertile and expressive product of post war democratic consumerism, it has a long and inspiring history that is in danger of being under-represented in museums and libraries”.

“The intention of the British Pop Archive”, he adds, “is to be a purpose-built, pop and youth culture archive that reflects the riches of the post war period running to the present day. We are launching with Manchester-centric collections but the intention is for the BPA to be a national resource encompassing the whole UK: it is, after all, the British Pop Archive”.

The launch exhibition – titled simply ‘Collection’ – will be open from 19 May to 15 Jan next year.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | | |