As my practice based work with the Birmingham Music Archive that I originated (http://birminghammusicarchive.com) developed, I began to think more about what it was/is I am doing. Where did the Archive fit within other archival work? What does the Archive say about my history and that of all the people who contribute to the archive? And what does the Archive and my practice say about Birmingham and its musical heritage?
I was encouraged to return to academia to study such questions and this has resulted in me completing a Masters Award in Creative Industries and Cultural Policy.
My thesis has the rather snappy title of Multiple Voices, Multiple Memories: Public-history making and activist archivismin online popular music archives but explores the recent phenomenon of online music archives. Whilst this study concentrates on archives pertaining to Birmingham, it is evident that there are lots of similar archives appearing from all manner of towns and cities across the world. With the continuing access to digital platforms, music heritage is becoming a more common theme for music activist archivists who wish to celebrate the music that falls outside of the mainstream or indeed the music activities that add to a place’s sense of cultural activity; the venues, record shops, managers and so on.
I hope this work will inform this Leonardo project and be of interest to those, like me, who wish to explore the role that popular music has played in specific places and in the preservation and celebration of all forms of popuar music activity.