The British Arts Council will recreate beloved radio DJ John Peel's extensive record collection for an on line museum project called The Space. "What we're hoping to do is create an online interactive museum which answers [the question of what was in Peel's collection], but also provides the audience with a visualization of it," Tom Barker, director of the John Peel Centre, told the BBC. "This is the first step in the journey of making one of the most important archives in modern music history available completely."
Peel, who died in 2004 at 65, was the BBC’s first full time rock DJ and worked for BBC Radio 1 for nearly 40 years. Peel was famous for being at the forefront of new music, both from the UK and abroad, and his Peel Sessions are priceless snapshots of his favorite bands from AC/DC to Zion Train. Peel’s collection includes 25,000 vinyl LPs, 40,000 45-singles and a vast number of CDs.
The online archive project will be ongoing, with the Centre planning to upload about 100 new records each week, as well as making available some of Peel's personal notes, filmed interviews and archives of his live sessions with bands. Peel never wanted to throw anything away from his library. "There's a lot of heart and soul poured into people's music," said Peel. "I can feel it when I look at the collection. I can't part with it."