Collecting and Curating Popular Music Histories

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Sch of Music

Abstract

Despite being a prominent aspect of social and cultural history, museums have not traditionally collected popular music materials. However, in recent years there has been an increased interest within this sector in collecting and displaying material which tells popular music histories. Around the world different museums and galleries have offered temporary exhibitions focused upon popular music venues, artefacts, artists and contexts. A number of dedicated visitor experiences have also been established which focus wholly on popular music. In concert with this some museums have begun actively collecting popular music material.

There is a need to review the ways in which the history of popular music culture in all its forms is being preserved for the future. This study will review how this heritage is being cared for. Focussing on UK museums it will investigate and compare how museums value, preserve and interpret popular music heritage. It will explore the ways in which museums work with other custodians of popular music and consider the implications of much of this material currently residing in private ownership.

There has been little academic work which has investigated the issue of the preservation of popular music materials and the ways that these allow us to interpret history. Museums remain key sites for learning about history and are public institutions through which narratives about history are disseminated to the public. The project will look at the possibilities opened up by museums in dealing with the subject of popular music. Through interviews with museum curators and the development of case studies it will explore how museums can further develop ways to interpret and transmit music histories. It will consider how museums can tell these histories in new and exciting ways which go beyond the written form by working with sounds, images and material culture.

The outcomes of this research will be of interest to academics, museum professionals, archivists, collectors and the wider public. The project will enable the sharing of information and ideas about the representation of popular music histories. Through work with different museums and their collections it will identify examples of current practice and offer a theorisation of particular issues related to the collection and interpretation of popular music. It will draw on popular music scholarship to critique the ways in which histories are constructed and narrativised. The research findings will be shared through public events, communication with practitioners and written outputs. The project aims to develop understanding of the value, importance and uses of popular music materials and so inform museum practice and the future development of collection policies.
 
Title Mixcase: Music Memory Traces 
Description 'Mixcase: Music, Memory, traces' was an exhibition curated by the project team which was held at the Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool from 22 August 2011 to 15 February 2012. The exhibition included a display of over 100 objects from the University of Liverpool popular music collections alongside loans from private collectors. The material on display included stage costume, record sleeves, music technology and ephemera. The exhibition enabled the team to communicate dimensions of the research to the public in a way which went beyond text. The objects on display asked visitors to consider the emotional, personal, and cultural worth that we grant to music's material culture. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact The exhibition sought to engage the public in an accessible and enjoyable way by provoking them to consider some key debates which emerged from the research project. The exhibition format enabled the research to reach a wider audience and it attracted 23,417 visitors. 
URL http://news.liv.ac.uk/2011/09/28/exhibition-of-pop-music-memorabilia-opens-at-the-vgm/
 
Description This project was the first study of popular music collections and exhibitions within UK museums. It mapped out the different ways museums engage with popular music considering collections, policies, conservation issues and the interpretation of materials. To get an overview of collecting policies, activity and practice the research team contacted 200 museums and galleries across the UK, receiving responses from over 80 participants within these institutions. The data revealed that whilst temporary engagement with popular music through exhibitions has grown considerably in recent years, permanent collections of popular music in UK museums are only beginning to be shaped, with less than half of the museums who responded featuring any popular music items in permanent displays. Contemporary collecting policies were in place in numerous museums, with some institutions actively attempting to build their collections of popular music material. Respondents discussed some of the challenges they had encountered when developing collections including a lack of connections with the music sector, the cost of acquiring material through auctions, and the reluctance of private collectors to donate due to their emotional ties to the material or the financial worth of the items. Collections management of popular music materials was identified as an area of particular concern. Respondents highlighted a number of issues including uncertainty over intellectual property rights, plastics degradation, the ephemerality of many popular music objects, maintaining access to outdated music formats, storage of new digital media and space.

In the second phase of the project interviews were undertaken with staff in museums which either had substantial popular music holdings or were active in organising music exhibitions. Interviews were completed with over 60 respondents including museum staff in management, curatorial, educational and conservation positions. These in-depth interviews explored how museums work with sonic, visual and material forms to communicate ideas about popular music and extend public understanding of social and cultural history. The project identified different curatorial approaches relating to the design, display and interpretation of material. In doing so it developed a number of case studies identifying issues, challenges and models for presenting and interpreting popular music history in a gallery setting. A concern of the research was to explore how music itself was presented within museums. Respondents discussed the value of music as an effective way to engage and encourage new audiences and also acknowledged practical issues related to how it was transmitted, experienced and controlled within a gallery setting.

Participants discussed the value of learning from current practice in the field and the project aimed to facilitate this through a symposium held at the British Library involving museum directors, curators, educators, librarians and academics. This resulted in communication and exchange between institutions and individuals actively working with popular music materials or interested in developing projects in this area.
Exploitation Route Designed as a collaborative project with the museum sector, the research developed in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and the Victoria and Albert Museum, with additional support from the British Library and the British Music Experience. The research project: engaged representatives of the museum sector through consultation and discussion, facilitated exchange of information between professionals, delivered public engagement events through partnership, offered feedback on research findings to those working in the field and involved curators in the dissemination of project findings. The project resulted in communication and exchange with museum staff across the UK, establishing a network of curators engaged in contemporary collecting and curatorial work with popular music materials. Numerous music exhibition projects were in development during the course of the project presenting the opportunity for the project team to offer advice, pass on useful contacts and contribute to discussions on curatorial practice. The project team also fed into conversations with curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum while they were in the process of revising their collecting policy for rock and pop.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
 
Description The findings have had an impact on museum visitors who the team engaged through: an exhibition at the Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool attracting 23,417 visitors; and though workshops organised in partnership with National Museums Liverpool (April 2011): one on popular music objects and memory; and one involving guest speakers, theatrical performance and the handling of museum objects. These events produced positive feedback and thoughtful reflections from participants. The research has also been used to develop the practice of museum professionals. The symposium organised at the British Library (5/7/11) for museum professionals, librarians, archivists, collectors and scholars, allowed for reflection on current museum practice, and established a network of professionals engaged in collecting and curating popular music materials. During the period of the project the research team also advised on the development of popular music exhibitions, including the major 'Home of Metal' exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2011). In addition, the team co-organised a study day for gallery and museum studies postgraduates from north-west England (June 2011), and delivered seminars and workshops to postgraduate students in a number of UK institutions as well as to MA students in Kufstein, Austria (July 2011). Through these activities the research contributed to the professional development of future curators and museum professionals by increasing their knowledge and capacity for working with popular culture materials.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal
 
Description Developed the practice of museum professionals
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Through collaboration with the museum sector the project: Expanded knowledge of museum collections and approaches to popular music The research project involved working directly with museum-practitioners to expand awareness and influence approaches to the collection, care and curation of popular music and related materials. We presented and discussed the research with museum professionals throughout the course of the project including dialogue with artists and curators from the UK and Malaga at the National Conservation Centre seminar 'Music in Action' (13/8/10); with curators and a museum director at the Museum Association conference (6/10/10); and through a front-page and feature article in Museums Journal (1/03/11). We also organised a British Library symposium (5/7/11) for museum directors, curators, librarians, archivists, collectors and scholars, which generated exchange of information about current practice, and established a network of professionals engaged in collecting and curating popular music materials. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, with practitioners welcoming the opportunity to connect with and learn from others. One curator stated in the feedback on the event that he would work 'on incorporating music in future book and exhibition projects', while another wrote that the event provided an 'invaluable look at issues surrounding music and museums' and he intended to apply what he had learned. Developed the practice of museum professionals The research project influenced curatorial practice. Developed in partnership with the V&A and National Museums Liverpool and with support from the British Library and the British Music Experience, it informed the practice of V&A curators at a time when they were revising the museum's rock and pop collecting policy. The research team also advised on the development of popular music exhibitions, including the major Home of Metal exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2011) where one of the curators commented that the advice had 'informed the approach and development of the exhibition'. In addition, as part of the outcomes of the project we co-organised a study day for gallery and museum studies postgraduates from north-west England (Merseyside Maritime Museum, June 2011) and Marion Leonard delivered lecture/workshop sessions to cultural management MA students in Kufstein, Austria (July 2011), and MA Museum Studies and MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies students at the University of Leicester (2011). Thus the research contributed to the professional development of the next generation of curators by increasing their knowledge and capacity for working with popular culture materials.
 
Description Research partnership with National Museums Liverpool 
Organisation National Museums Liverpool
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution During the project the research team worked directly with museum-practitioners to expand awareness and influence approaches to the collection, care and curation of popular music and related materials. They presented and discussed this research with staff of National Museums Liverpool at a 'Music in Action' seminar at the National Conservation Centre (13/8/10) and by involving one of the NML curators as an invited panellist at the Museum Association conference (6/10/10). The museum commented that they found the networking opportunities offered by this project to be very useful to their urban history team, particularly with regard to contemporary collecting.
Collaborator Contribution The research developed in partnership with National Museums Liverpool who offered assistance and valuable contributions throughout the life of the project. The organisation permitted access to museum collections, facilitated the development of case study material, enabled regular discussion and interviews with museum staff, offered free use of museum spaces for events and assistance with publicity. Moreover curators from the organisation participated in activities organised by the project team including public-engagement events and a Museum Association conference panel.
Impact The partnership with NML enabled the research team to develop detailed case study material and undertake numerous interviews. This research fed through into conference papers, workshop discussions, and seminars including: a 'Music in Action' seminar at the National Conservation Centre (13/8/10), a panel discussion and workshop at the Museum Association conference (6/10/10), a presentation to the Museum Studies Department, University of Leicester (2/2/11), a conference paper at the Social History Society Annual Conference (12/4/11) and an invited research paper at the Department of Music, NUI Maynooth, Ireland (8/2/13). The research material resulting from this partnership has also been used within published outputs including Leonard and Knifton's book chapter on nostalgia, popular music and memory in museums (2014) and Leonard's article in the International Journal of Heritage Studies (2013) focussed on the conservation and interpretation of a particular object within NML's collection. During the project a number of public engagement events co-ordinated by the research team were hosted by NML: a memory workshop, a study day, and the 'Music Matters' day where members of the public could listen to discussion panels, handle objects from the museum collection and talk to curators.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Research partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum 
Organisation Victoria and Albert Museum
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution During the project the research team were in dialogue with curators at the Victorial and Albert Museum about approaches to the collection, care and curation of popular music and related materials. The timing of the research project was advantageous as it could inform the practice of Victoria and Albert Museum curators at a time when they were revising the museum's rock and pop collecting policy. The team organised a British Library symposium (5/7/11) for museum directors, curators, librarians, archivists, collectors and scholars, which generated exchange of information about current practice, and established a network of professionals engaged in collecting and curating popular music materials. One of the curators at V&A participated as a speaker in this event.
Collaborator Contribution Staff at the V&A offered assistance and valuable contributions throughout the life of the project. The organisation offered access to the museum collection, interviews with museum staff and facilitated the development of case study material. The curator of Modern and Contemporary Performance at the V&A was a speaker at the British Library event organised by the project team.
Impact The partnership with the V&A enabled the research team to develop detailed case study material and numerous interviews. This research material has fed through into conference papers, workshop discussions, seminars and published outputs. For example, Dr Leonard's article in the international peer-reviewed journal Questions de Communication (2012) focussed a guitar within the Victoria and Albert Museum collection to explore how material culture associated with popular music is given meaning and value by differing organisations through their collection policies and modes of public display.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Beyond Text and Partners: Museums 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Panel discussion at a Beyond Text award holders event. The panel discussed issues and considerations related to the development of research projects in partnership with museums. The event was attended by academics, museum professionals, artists, film makers, teachers and school children.

The panel was part of a day-long event discussing different types of partnership. The main outcome of the day was to develop a series of recommendations from the Beyond Text programme to the AHRC about how partnerships work and what potential they offer.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Beyond Text award holders event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Delivery of a short presentation about the 'Collecting and Curating Popular Music Histories' project to other Beyond Text award holders. The event enabled the establishment of new connections and the opportunity to explore possible collaborations during the course of the grant.

Connections were made as a result of this activity and led to collaboration with another research team. Together we organised a knowledge-transfer event for postgraduate students in north-west England which took place in a museum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Collecting Popular Music for the Future 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited research paper at the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham discussing some key findings from the research project. The talk was followed by questions and discussion.

Provoked discussion and stimulated the thinking of postgraduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Collecting, Listening, and Thingness 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An expert panel discussion on collecting, listening and thingness in relationship to music. Each contributor presented a short paper introducing ideas and findings from their research and then this was opened up to a lively discussion with participants.

Developed a wider audience for the research, stimulated thinking as evidenced by the engaging discussion, contributed to the education of postgraduate students and helped to develop new perspectives on the material culture of music.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Curating Popular Music in the Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited lecture at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester as part of the Perspectives Lecture Series for scholars from outside museum studies who are having a significant impact on the field. Lecture presented to 85 students enroled on the MA Museum Studies and MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies programmes.

After my visit the students were encouraged to incorporate ideas about curating music into their module learning for the two MA programmes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Displaying the intangible: popular music, materiality and the museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A research paper which discussed museum engagements with popular music. The paper explored the ways in which popular music has been materialised for the museum visitor, considered the challenges of placing popular music within a museum and evaluated what the inclusion of popular music within such institutions tells us about changing notions of popular music heritage.

Invited research paper at the Department of Music, NUI Maynooth, Ireland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Documenting Memories: Perspectives on the future of data collection and museum archives 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Postgraduate study day offering students a broader understanding of museum and archive roles in identifying, capturing, storing and displaying ephemeral and intangible heritage. This event was jointly organised by the project teams from two AHRC Beyond Text research projects based at the University of Liverpool. Both 'Mapping Memory on the Liverpool Waterfront' (Dr G Milne) and 'Collecting and Curating Popular Music Histories' (Dr M Leonard) were collaborative projects with National Museums Liverpool. The day-long event was held at the International Slavery Museum and included research presentations, invited speakers, faciliated workshop activities and small group discussions.

Sharing of practice and research outcomes with postgraduate students from north-west universities, positive feedback from participants, sharing of research findings and collaboration with research team in another field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Exhibition of Pop Music Memorabilia Opens at Victoria Gallery and Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release publicising the opening of the exhibition 'Mixcase: Music Memories Traces' at the Victoria Gallery and Museum.

The exhibition was publicised in a news item on the University of Liverpool website and an article on the BBC News website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-15108205
 
Description Mixcase: Curating popular music for exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Research paper reporting on the development of the Mixcase exhibition. The paper used this case study as a way to raise issues related to private collectors of music materials and contemporary museum collection policies.

Stimulated thinking of audience members and contibuted to the education of postgraduate students beyond the research team's institution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Museums Journal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Museums Journal featured a six page article about the research project. The feature was selected as the lead headline and front cover image of the issue. The article featured the collections and curatorial work of the project partners (the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Museums Liverpool) as well as other participating museums in the research. Museums Journal is the professional magazine for the museum sector in the UK, reaching 25,000 readers monthly per issue.

Museums Journal readers are employed in museums, galleries, historic properties, arts organisations, archives and libraries. They include directors, senior managers, consultants, marketing and administration personnel, technical staff, curators, and keepers. The feature raised the profile of the research in the museum sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/features/01032011-lost-in-music
 
Description Museums, Popular Music and Inclusion in the Arts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An invited research lecture and workshop for MA students and staff at the University of Applied Sciences in Kufstein, Austria. The lecture was based on case study material arising from the research project and gave the participants the opportunity to discuss particular objects within museum collections.

The talk offered staff and students a perspective on music collections, outreach and issues relating to museum practice. After the talk the institution developed plans for a research trip to the UK for students and staff to further develop their understanding of UK museums and cultural institutions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Museums, Researchers, Engagement: Working Together to Develop Our Skills 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participated in a workshop organised by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public-Engagement and the Beacons for Public Engagement in partnership with the University Museums Group. The event aimed to develop mutual understanding between the research community and museums, showcase effective practice through a number of case studies, and strengthen networking between museums and universities. It was an opportunity to share information about the research project, establish new contacts and learn from best practice in the field.

A case study about the Beyond Text research project was featured on the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public-Engagement website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/case-studies/collecting-and-curating-popular-music-histories
 
Description Music Matters 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public engagement event organised in partnership with National Museums Liverpool. The event included two discussion panels with invited speakers and a participatory performance by a professional actor using objects from the museum collection. Members of the public were offered the opportunity to handle objects from the museum collection and talk to curators. The day had the educational benefits of offering perspectives on heritage, cultural materials and meaning making, and enriching a public understanding of heritage.

The day was effective in engaging the public with key research questions and enriching their cultural experience of the museum. It was also a provoked a public debate about approaches to preserving, conserving, and presenting cultural heritage. Particpants explained on comment cards why they thought museums should preserve popular music heritage and what meaning they gave to music collections.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2011/04/music-matters/
 
Description Music, Heritage and Cities: Digital Archives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited speaker on a discussion panel considering representations of popular music heritage. The discussion examined the different practices, approaches and motivations of various individuals and organisations involved in the identification, preservation and promotion of this heritage. In particular it considered the role of museums, film-makers, record labels and digital archives. This was a public event which formed part of the Un-Convention festival in Salford. It produced meaningful dialogue between speakers and those attending the event.

The event enabled the PI to engage actively with the public about the research project and its broader implications. It also helped to extend our professional networks - establishing new practitioner contacts which subsequently fed into the research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description New Research on Popular Music and Museums 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Press release announcing the research project prepared in consultation with AHRC, University of Liverpool and project partners National Museums Liverpool and the V&A. The press release was disseminated broadly including to the University Museums Group, North West Culture Observatory, Museums Journal, Social History Curators Group, Museums and Galleries History Group, Renaissance North West newsletter, THE, Education Guardian, and to the music editors at Word and the broadsheets.

The press release was successful in publicising the project amongst museum professionals and led to a number of research leads. It resulted in a number of articles including one in Museums Journal by Rebecca Atkinson (1/10/2010) and Museums and Heritage Online (September 2010).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Popular Culture and Museums 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The PI organised and chaired a panel presentation and discussion at the Museum Association Conference in Manchester. The panel was composed of the Director of the National Football Museum and curators from two participating organisations in the research project (National Museums Liverpool and the British Music Experience). This is the most important event in the museum and heritage calendar in the UK. The panel generated questions and lively discussion.

The delivery of a panel discussion at this event for museum professionals raised the prominence to the research project within the field of study. As a result of the event new national and international museum contacts were established which fed into the research. One curator from Melbourne subsequently met up with the research team to share details of museum practice in Australia and discuss key elements of the research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Popular Music and Museums 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture to students on the MA Popular Music Studies programme at the University of Liverpool. The lecture disseminated information about the project and key emerging issues. The lecture provided the opportunity to discuss issues involved in collecting and displaying popular music heritage.

The lecture and discussion extended the knowledge of the students and informed their research projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Rock n Roll Museology: Capturing Popular Music Heritage in UK Museums and Galleries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited lecture identifying some key issues and debates related to collecting and displaying popular music heritage. Lecture presented at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester to academics, PhD students, and students on the MA Museum Studies programme.

Generating new ways of thinking about popular culture and museums which informed and sparked debate amongst postgraduate students who are intending to enter into work in the museum sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description University visit (Rotterdam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk given at Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. The purpose was to share research findings from the project and to spark discussion about issues related to the the collection, preservation, and use of popular music within museums. The presentation led to an exchange of ideas with a postgraduate research student who secured Erasmus funding to travel to the University of Liverpool for a period of her doctoral research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Workshop: Popular music memories and objects 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team organised a workshop at the Merseyside Maritime Museum concerned with popular music's material culture, memory and value. The event was organised in collaboration with National Museums Liverpool and the Liverpool charity the League of Welldoers. Workshop participants were aged between 23 and 86. Participants were invited to bring along significant objects related to music practice and consumption and discuss the ways in which they associated these materials with personal experience, emotion and cultural worth. The event was facilitated by the project team and data was captured through photographs, audio recording, comment cards and on film.

The event resulted in knowledge exchange between particpants and the research team. The team were able to capture the perspectives of a range of respondents on the importance of music's material culture and the role that museums have in documenting popular music histories. In turn the research team could explain their research aims and findings in an accessible manner to the public and enhance the participants' experience of museum visiting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011