John Peel's record collection to go online at The Space

John Peel John Peel with the smaller 1970 version of his record collection

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John Peel's record collection is being put online in "virtual" form.

The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket will recreate the late broadcaster's home studio for an Arts Council project called The Space.

People will be able to browse through some of his 25,000 vinyl LPs.

Sheila Ravenscroft, Peel's widow, 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."

Wirral-born Peel, who died in 2004, was a champion of new music during nearly four decades as a DJ on BBC Radio 1.

The legendary DJ's collection also includes 40,000 vinyl singles as well as CDs, but the project will focus on loading the vinyl first along with some of his personal notes, contributors' stories and filmed interviews with family and musicians.

The artwork of the records will be scanned and although listening may be limited due to copyright issues, there will be access to the BBC radio archive of Peel Sessions.

Peel stories

Start Quote

This is the first step in the journey of making one of the most important archives in modern music history available completely”

End Quote Tom Baker John Peel Centre director

Tom Barker, director of the John Peel Centre, said: "What we're hoping to do is create an online interactive museum which answers the question 'what is in John Peel's record collection?' but also provides the audience with a visualisation of it.

"We hope that giving them access to a particular band or their first album or listening to his show will inspire people to tell us their stories.

"This is the first step in the journey of making one of the most important archives in modern music history available completely."

The centre aims to put 100 albums online each week, giving a total of 2,500 over the course of this part of the project which runs from May to October.

The John Peel Centre applied for £85,000 from the Arts Council and it expects to find out later this week the exact amount it will get.

The Space involves 53 projects which will share £3.5m of Arts Council funding across the UK.

The five other projects taking part in the East of England are Aldeburgh Music, the Britten Sinfonia, DanceEast, Nabokov and Rifco Arts.

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