John Peel record haul goes online

MUSIC lovers can now rifle through one of Britain’s most celebrated record collections online.

On Tuesday, the first batch of John Peel’s enormous music archive became available to the public, giving fans the chance to explore the broadcaster’s record collection.

John Peel, who lived in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, until his death in 2004, had amassed a colossal collection of 26,000 albums, 40,000 singles and countless CDs.

His collection is now being put online with details of 100 albums being placed every week in alphabetical order – this week is A.

The project, a partnership between the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, the Arts Council and Eye Film and TV, will add 100 more every Tuesday for the next six months.

But John Peel Centre manager Andrew Stringer said this was only the tip of the iceberg of John’s massive collection.

He said: “When we are finished we will have made available 10 per cent of the whole collection – it just goes to show how huge his record collection was. It is a very important music collection nationally.

“It has already been a tremendous success, we have had something like 25,000 hits on our website on Tuesday with people accessing the site through us.”

The archive, which is introduced by a video from Sheila Ravenscroft, John Peel’s widow, also features specially created mini documentary videos of key artists, Peel’s home movies, his hand-typed note cards, and photos.

Sheila Ravenscroft said: “We’re so happy that we’re finally making John’s amazing collection available to his fans, as he would have wanted. This project is only the beginning of something very exciting.

“Hopefully people are really going to enjoy having a little bit of John’s collection.”

To see the archive visit www.thespace.org