After 17 years of involvement with MDMArchive I have decided to step down from my role as archive manager and curator to focus on my career as a musician, DJ, writer and creative facilitator. I’d like to thank everyone on the archive team and our Board of Trustees for being my companions on this ride, which has been deeply rewarding, occasionally anarchic and pretty exhausting. I think it has been our shared sense of humour that has kept us going.
I’d particularly like to mention Mat Norman, the big brother I never had, for getting me involved in the first place; Alison Surtees for always being ahead of the curve on democratising heritage; Cathy Brooks for getting me back into making my own music and helping me out of spreadsheet despair; and to Sarah Feinstein for truly seeing my work and celebrating it. Thanks also to our chair Dave Carter for his tenacity in gaining charitable status.
In July we lost MDMArchive co-founder and co-chair, CP Lee, whose Shake, Rattle & Rain book was the initial spark that ignited the Archive. I’d like to acknowledge all that Chris gave to our organisation over the years: unparalleled knowledge of Manchester music, usually coupled with unparalleled belly laughs.
Particular highlights on the journey have included creating 1 Top Class Manager – The Notebooks of Rob Gretton; Queer Noise at the People’s History Museum; We Are Dynamite! at NIAMOS; and The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map.
But my abiding passion has always been our online archive, which I created back in 2004-5 with our long-term digital developer, Ashley Kennerley. Ash and I have worked hard together on several iterations of the website, and overseen its constant maintenance. Special thanks to Ash for his creativity, calm problem-solving skills and database-whispering ability.
It has been amazing to watch the development of the website and archive, which now has over 22,000 uploads from its community of users. The images and stories contained within it are a true source of learning and inspiration. I have particularly enjoyed making and using the online exhibitions facility – there are so many lesser-known stories about Greater Manchester music that deserve to be revealed.
In order to remain a living, breathing community archive, we need to encourage more and more users to upload. You can help us do that by adding your favourite images and stories to the site, and, in turn, sharing those uploads through social media.
As a charity, MDMArchive is in a period of transition and our Board of Trustees is currently scoping out the future of the organisation. They’d like to hear from any individuals or organisations who may be interested working with us. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to have a chat, making your emails FAO Alison Surtees.