Late British disc jockey John Peel, known for his eclectic taste both on-air and off-air, passed away in 2004 – but a sizable portion of his huge personal record collection will make its way online in an immersive archive project.
Put together by The John Peel Centre in England, the project is being called The Space. Each week, roughly 100 titles will be added to the database, alphabetically. The first batch of records went up this week, and more will be added in the coming weeks.
Depending on each albums’ legal clearances, visitors to the site can click off-site streaming links – or read liner notes and view artwork.
Charlie Gauvain of Eye Film and Television, the company that helped digitize Peel’s record collection, said of the project:
People will be able to trawl through the site, find a lot of information, link out and start lots of discussions, but the whole thing is about introducing people to stuff they hadn’t heard of.
In addition to the record collection, The Space will allow visitors to listen to choice selections from his Peel Sessions broadcasts, watch videos introducing the project, read blog entries, view index cards from Peel’s personal files, and so on.
It’s really pretty incredible, and should provide endless opportunities to discover new artists, taken straight from the personal collection of one of the industry’s most revered DJs.
To give you some background on Peel’s collection, here’s part of a documentary on his life and legacy that originally aired on BBC in 2005 – note how Jack White calls Peel “the most important DJ of all time”.