Manchester Digital Music Archive is an online community archive established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history.
We are a crowd-sourced archive, a place for people all over the world to share Manchester music ephemera and memories, be they fans, musicians or involved with the music industry itself.
We support other music archives across Greater Manchester to connect with each other and the general public, as a central repository for digital archival material, a mechanism for sign posting and access.
We are passionate about celebrating the hidden chapters and under-represented communities within Greater Manchester music. We believe that through crowd-sourcing artefacts we can democratise heritage and provide a platform for multiple versions of history to be shared. There is no hierarchy of 'merit' within our archive. The general public decides what is important and what is ‘heritage’.
Our work takes place online and in person. We produce and curate exhibitions, concerts, community outreach programmes, research and provide heritage partner support to other organisations. We are a registered charity run by volunteers.
Charity no. 1164179.
To celebrate Greater Manchester music, protect its heritage and promote awareness of its cultural importance.
To celebrate Greater Manchester music
To raise awareness of the influence of Greater Manchester music and highlight unsung eras in its history
To digitise vulnerable collections pertaining to Greater Manchester music
To record and document the memories of fans, artists and industry alike
To facilitate exhibitions and events about Greater Manchester music that target as broad an audience as possible
To develop a not-for-profit self-sustaining organisation to achieve the above
To prevent the disappearance of artefacts by uncovering vulnerable collections and identifying an appropriate physical ‘home’ for them
To approach (and encourage approaches from) people wishing to share their experiences of Greater Manchester music
To document these oral histories in a variety of media
To raise public awareness of such collections by organising events and exhibitions in a variety of easily accessible, ‘down-to-earth’ venues as well as in traditional exhibition spaces
To provide an online archive that will map the evolution of Greater Manchester music and its social history
Alison is a producer, consultant and trainer, developing talent and projects across the creative sector, predominantly Film and TV. She currently manages social media and podcasting, website development, strategy and fundraising; events and exhibitions and partner relationships.
Matthew moved to Manchester in the mid 80s due to his love of the city’s music and his interest in its history and culture. He still lives in Manchester and works in public engagement at a national museum.
Abigail Ward is an award-winning curator, music producer, writer and DJ. She makes music under the name Ghoßt Assembly. She specialises in Greater Manchester music history; LGBT+ club culture; music and disability; and digital storytelling. She left MDMArchive in 2020.
CP Lee was the catalyst for the establishment of the Archive. His music knowledge, connections and humour put us in good stead for the future. A writer, performer, broadcaster and academic, he will be remembered and missed by us all.
Ashley is obsessed with both obscure music factoids and software interface design (yeah, really!) so MDMArchive has been a total passion project of his. He's spent the last 20+ years building websites for Manchester's finest festivals, record shops, venues, clothes shops, musicians and everything in-between.
I have been a staunch supporter of MDM Archive for many years and I am thrilled to now be a trustee of this unique and inspiring digital archive. My skills are in fundraising and business advice and I look forward to being as useful to MDM Archive as it continues to grow and develop.
Cathy Brooks co-founded the community radio charity Radio Regen which set up community radio stations across Manchester including ALL FM and Wythenshawe FM. She currently provides financial services to a range of voluntary sector organisations and has played bass with dub sex, dumb, Calvin Party and The Rainkings.
Originally from Bristol, of Jamaican heritage, Michael is a charismatic instigator, griot and dedicated arts activist, who proudly hails from both Bristol and Manchester's music and underground club cultures. His Doodlebug ‘detonations’ inspired a generation as he introduced and nourished many leading lights, including Mr Scruff, Andy Votel and Luke Unabomber. Michael’s uniquely provocative graphic art and immersive audio visual ‘detonations’ remain watershed moments in Mancunian clubland folklore.
Karen Gabay is a music and arts tastemaker. A producer in TV, radio and podcasts, radio host and award winning social history filmmaker. A champion of telling Manchester histories, women in music histories and black music.
Darren Jones is a Mancunian who has enjoyed a career in broadcasting for nearly thirty years working at dock10, Granada Studios, Lime Pictures, Yorkshire TV, and the BBC. Before starting in television Darren was the guitarist in Manchester band Rig who released singles on the Cut Deep and Dead Dead Good record labels in the early nineties at the height of Madchester.
I’ve always been a lover of music of many styles and enjoy researching the history behind bands, artists and genres. Volunteering with MDMArchive gives me the opportunity to use my skills as an archivist but also to help bring images and stories from all to a public place for everyone to engage with and learn from.
Markus Hetheier is an electronic music producer, researcher and arts facilitator. Currently, he is undertaking a practice-based and participatory PhD at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) within Manchester Metropolitan University working on a digital soundmap project investigating queer sonic geographies of Manchester.
Kate is an editorial associate at Duke University Press, where she works on books spanning the humanities and social sciences (including music!). She holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and a master's degree in library science from Indiana University, and has worked in a number of music archives across the US. Her doctoral research focused on MDMArchive and the affective dynamics and equitable capabilities of community-based music archiving.
Heather Roberts is a professional archivist working with Manchester's Classical music collections. She leads the Greater Manchester Archivists Group and is administrator for the Connecting Manchester's Music Archives network.
Electronic music producer, record shop owner, archivist and consultant for legendary Manchester bands.
Our archive currently contains 3937 Bands / Artists, 776 DJs, 1503 Places, 359 People and 31595 artefacts contributed by 4345 members.