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The Delia Derbyshire Archive to be Opened to the Public

The music charity Delia Derbyshire Day have received grant to open the unique collection at Manchester’s John Rylands Library, and to use her work to inspire the next generation.
The electric music charity has won a £42,000 grant to help them mark what would have been Delia’s 80th birthday by improving access to the collection at John Rylands Library and hosting big shows throughout the year based around her work.
Included in the archive – which was donated to the University of Manchester in 2007 and is known as Delia Derbyshire papers and sound archive – are fascinating working notes and sketches from her days at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, sound cue sheets from Doctor Who, 267 audio tapes, newspaper cuttings clipped by Delia, her old school notebooks, and even ephemera from her home, including gas masks (thought to have belonged to her parents who were moved from Coventry in the Blitz) and an old tin helmet.

The Heritage Lottery Grant will let the DD Day charity digitise the collection, as well as create music events, films, and educational programmes and workshops that use the archive directly.
Perhaps the most important result of the grant is that people will finally be able to see the collection.
DD Day’s project manager Caro C. said:
“The project also focuses on the heritage of electronic music via the archive and works of Delia Derbyshire. A lot of kids still don’t realise that the Doctor Who theme was made by a girl.”
A series of big public events will kick off on May 5 to coincide with Delia’s birthday.
Coming up in the 12 months ahead are the following special days:

  • May 5, 2017: Delia’s 80th Birthday, screening of a short film about the DD Archive and Deliaphonic Soundbank.
  • June 10, 2017: DD Day 2017 MCR at Band on the Wall – electronic music-making workshops for families and an evening of live music and arts, archive sharing, expert panel discussion, and Q&As with very special guests.
  • Aug 5, 2017: DD Day touring event at Full Of Noises (FON) Festival in Barrow-in-Furness, with participatory workshops for families and an evening cultural heritage event with archive sharing, panel discussions, plus live music and visual art performances.
  • Sept-Nov 2017: The launch of an eight week education project in two primary schools in Manchester including the production of a short film about the DD Archive by the young participants.
  • Dec 5, 2017: DD Day and Digital Women’s Archive North (DWAN) host a symposium event at the Anthony Burgess Foundation in Chorlton Mill, with guest speakers, archive sharing, and an open forum discussion.

To access the Delia Derbyshire collection, sign up for free as a reader at John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester. 

Andrew Reynolds

The Delia Derbyshire Archive to be Opened to the Public

by Andrew Reynolds time to read: 2 min
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