Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Abstract accepted for the On Collecting conference

I'm looking forward to visiting Edinburgh in July for the 'On Collecting: Music, Materiality and Ownership' conference, where I will be presenting a paper in the panel "Formats and the act of collecting". The conference will be held at the National Museum of Scotland.

Here are the details of my paper:

Affective archiving and collective collecting in do-it-yourself popular music museums and archives

This paper explores the collective processes of collecting and associated practice of archiving affectively in popular music archives and museums that are distinctly 'do-it-yourself' (DIY). DIY archives/museums are places founded by music enthusiasts and rely on the contributions of volunteers who share a desire to preserve music artefacts and/or recordings. They emerge from within communities of popular music consumption, where groups of interested people have undertaken to 'do-it-themselves', creating places to store - and in some cases, display publicly - the material history of popular music culture. As 'self-authorised' sites of popular music heritage (Roberts and Cohen, 2013), these DIY institutions share similar goals to national institutions in regards to preservation, collection, accessibility and national interest. However, they do so with limited financial support, relying on volunteer labour, grant funding, memberships and donations to remain operational, and are often dealing with significant space constraints.

In this paper, I draw on interviews undertaken at DIY institutions as a way of thinking through the archival ecologies of these places and the extent to which a collective form of collecting, in which numerous volunteers contribute to the collecting efforts of the institution, shapes the affective dimension of DIY archives and museums (see Baker and Huber, 2013). Collecting collectively helps foster a strong sense of community among workers and emotional connections between volunteers and objects in their care. The paper considers how collective collecting is a central feature of the DIY practice of 'archiving affectively',