The RNCM building (RNCM)

Royal Northern College of Museum’s archive project make thousands of recordings public

Image: The RNCM building (RNCM)

Performances from students and operas alike dating back to 1973 will be digitised from reels and tape

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) has announced a new archive project, Throwing Open the Concert Doors, which is set to conserve and digitise thousands of RNCM recordings, making them publicly available online and via a new interactive heritage booth installed at the College.

Recordings of performances from student recitals to full scale opera productions dating back to 1973 will be conserved and digitised, some from magnetic reel and tape.

RNCM Recordings archive (RNCM)

The project has been backed by over £206,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will be delivered in partnership with Manchester Digital Music Archive and Manchester Central Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage initiative.

Heather Roberts, RNCM Archivist, said performances dating back to 1973 are to be digitised, and “due to the ravages of time, these are steadily and irreversibly degrading and, without conservation and digitations, will soon be lost forever.”

Heather says, “The RNCM’s story is of great significance to Manchester’s cultural heritage, but it is ultimately a ‘hidden gem’ in terms of public awareness.”