Delia Derbyshire Day has developed as a result of the Delia Derbyshire Archive being donated to The University of Manchester in 2007 by BBC Archivist and BBC Radiophonic Workshop enthusiast Mark Ayres.
The archive has since expanded as more items have since been acquired or donated to John Rylands Library including Delia’s schoolbooks/juvenile papers and film donations for which Delia composed music.
We feel Delia’s archive is a gem of electronic music heritage that can be a fascinating source of inspiration and education about the working process of key figure in the development of electronic music and the history of the development of electronic music in general.
The DD Archive is housed at John Rylands Library which is open to the public (you do not have to be attached to the University to become a reader).
The archive contains 267 audio tapes that have been digitized, including make-up tapes (uncovering the process of how Delia made her music) and recordings from radio and albums by the likes of Pink Floyd and Can. The tapes are largely related to Derbyshire’s freelance work as most of her work for the BBC will be kept in the BBC archives. There are also 2 film donations, an interview by Jo Hutton with Delia and a 90 second audio extract from an unmade film around 1980 donated by film maker Elizabeth Kosmian.
The physical items include books (about music and electronic music), working notes, correspondences and letters referring to Delia’s work, sound cue sheets, interview transcriptions and newspaper cuttings as well as childhood school notebooks and drawings.
For much more information about the DD Archive here in Manchester, please proceed to the website of John Rylands Library.
The purpose of DD Day as an organisation is to unlock this heritage through the arts. We do this through our public events (see Events page), education work in schools and workshops for kids and adults (see Education page). Another significant strand of our work is to commission artists to produce and perform creative responses to Delia’s archive, thereby reflecting on their own practice by exploring the work and working methods of one of the early producers of electronic music in the UK. Delia’s archive consistently inspires new work and development opportunities for artists working in music, sound and the visual arts. Please visit our New Art page for more about this.