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British Pop Culture Archive exhibition to open in Manchester

It will feature personal items relating to The Haçienda, Factory Records and more

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 6 April 2022
British Pop Culture Archive exhibition to open in Manchester

The new British Pop Archive in Manchester has been announced, which will chronicle the history of some of the city's most well-known acts.

Opening in the John Rylands Research Institute and Library at the University of Manchester, this exhibition will "celebrate and preserve British popular music and other aspects of popular culture, recognising its pivotal influence on the world stage."

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The British Pop Archive will open on May 19, with 'Collection', a uniquely Manchester-themed exhibition that will demonstrate why Manchester is the ideal location for the British Pop Archive. It covers the dynamic cultural landscape of a city that has spurred innovation, creativity, and social change, and is curated by Mat Bancroft, Jon Savage, and Hannah Barker.

Part of the exhibition will feature personal items relating to The Haçienda, Factory Records, Granada Television and more.

Artefacts from Joy Division, Sex Pistols, New Order, and other bands important to the city's musical heritage, will be on display. This includes Curtis’s original handwritten lyrics for ‘She’s Lost Control’.

Read this next: Manchester is the beating heart of new music in the UK

Jon Savage, Professor of Popular Culture, said: “Britain’s pop and youth culture has been transmitted worldwide for nearly sixty years now. As the most fertile and expressive product of post-war democratic consumerism, it has a long and inspiring history that is in danger of being under-represented in museums and libraries.

"The intention of the BPA is to be a purpose-built, pop and youth culture archive that reflects the riches of the post-war period running to the present day. We are launching with Manchester-centric collections but the intention is for the BPA to be a national resource encompassing the whole UK: it is, after all, the British Pop Archive.”

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Mat Bancroft said: “We launch the British Pop Archive with a Manchester focused exhibition full of unique and unseen artefacts. These materials tell the story of a vibrant city with art, culture and music at its heart.

"More than that they foreground the creative catalysts, musicians, producers, artists, designers and writers who have instigated this repositioning of landscape - to propose media as the new cultural capital of the city.”

Read this next: The Haçienda has been named as one of Manchester's most iconic sites

For more information about the exhibition, check out the John Rylands Research Institute and Library website here.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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