British Pop Archive celebrates Granada Television’s cultural legacy

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Granada Television’s extensive archive will return to Manchester, as part of the British Pop Archive.

The move comes 66 years since its first transmission in 1956.

Launching on 19th May, the British Pop Archive at the John Ryland’s Research Institute and Library has been created to “celebrate and preserve” British popular music and culture.

It will include contributions from musicians, bands, clubs, managers, agents, journalists, photographers and designers.

“With the changing landscape of television – the rise of the ‘Big Five’ TV channels, streaming services, and social media platforms – Granada TV’s identity has drastically altered over time. Despite this, it has continued to act as a benchmark for quality television production not just across the North of England, but worldwide too,” said Jon Savage, curator of the British Pop Archive.

“For this reason, we’ve long endeavoured to bring the Archive back to its spiritual home of Manchester and we’re thrilled to be in a position to display to the general public what it has to offer.”

To mark the occasion, Creative Manchester will host a roundtable event: Devolved Vision: Granada TV and the Future of British TV, to reflect on the current television landscape, as well as looking ahead to the future.

Speakers include historian David Olusoga OBE, BAFTA award-winning film-maker Liza Williams and former Channel 4 News Editor, Dorothy Byrne.

“Once described as the ‘greatest television company in the world’, it’s hard to understate the impact that Granada TV has had on independent television and broadcasting since its launch in 1956,” said Hannah Barker, Professor of British History at The University of Manchester and Director of the John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

“Having the archive in Manchester provides us with an excellent resource for both research and teaching, and further cements Manchester’s status as a creative and cultural capital.”

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