Universal Music Just Donated a Massive Amount of EMI Archives to the U of Calgary

On the eve of the Juno Awards in Calgary, the city took another step to becoming a musical powerhouse. Not only will the National Music Centre open downtown later this year (some people are getting a preview of the facility this week), Universal Music just donated a massive amount of archival stuff to the University of Calgary.

The archive of EMI Music Canada was handed over to the university’s Libraries and Cultural Resources. What lurks in these boxes? From FYIMusic News:

The size of the collection is certainly impressive. A press release from the University of Calgary notes that “the collection consists of 5,500 boxes containing more than 18,000 video recordings, 21,000 audio recordings and more than two million documents and photographs. The archive includes master recordings, publicity photos, demo tapes, album cover art, creative outlines for music videos, marketing plans, awards, drafts of song lyrics and correspondence between artists, producers, engineers and EMI Music Canada executives.”

In addition to all these awesome (and probably lots of long-lost) Canadian music history, you may be thinking “Wouldn’t there be a lot of Beatles material in this archive?” The answer is “yes.” Again from FYIMusic News:

[U of C Vice-Provost Tom] Nickerson already made one fascinating discovery in the collection. “There was a master tape for the Beatles album Rubber Soul, and I happened to recognized that it had ‘Drive My Car’ on it. The most widely distributed version of that album did not include that song. We also have two small DAT tapes of the Beatles on the BBC from their early days. While it has a tremendous Canadian composition, this really is a world collection.”

More here.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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