From folk clubs to club nights, grassroots music venues and initiatives are deeply embedded in community life and are home to rich local and personal memories. However, without any form of preservation, important records, artefacts, and other materials that tell these venues’ stories are at risk of being lost or damaged.

How can we help?

Our Place was a short-term University of York and Swansea University pilot project that took place in June-July 2021. The project aimed to assess the need for DIY digital archiving resources in grassroots venues and put measures in place to equip community venues with knowledge, tools, and techniques to safeguard their memories. Our immediate goals were to:

  • Identify at-risk venues and materials
  • Produce free “DIY digital archiving” resources

Our questionnaire

In July, we asked the public to fill in a short questionnaire to help us identify at-risk venues and materials. Venues may range from nightclubs and local pubs to church halls and community libraries. We also sought information about any materials that may be at risk, including photographs, ephemera (such as posters and flyers), press cuttings, artwork, records (such as financial statements), physical media (e.g. CDS and vinyl records), digital photographs, or even buildings themselves.

The results enabled us to begin building a picture of the need for DIY digital archiving resources and the community’s requirements for such resources. You can read our summary of the results below.

DIY Digital Archiving Resources

We created a series of short guides to address the most common needs identified in our survey.

Explore our resources

Music Memories Database

We have curated a database of existing community-led digital music archives and preservation initiatives for musical performances and venues. Anyone can add their digital archive to the list.

View and contribute to the database