Public asked to help University build digital archive for the legendary Maxwell Hall

Categories: University Campus

The University of Salford is calling on the general public to provide memorabilia, items and memories from those who went to concerts at Maxwell Hall for a new digital archive collection to futureproof its heritage as a legendary music venue. 

With live music returning to the venue this May after a ten-year break for the Sounds from the Other City festival, we are keen to see what memories it reawakens in concertgoers from over the decades and what physical items they have that can be crystallised for further generations to see.

We are looking for a variety of items such as tickets, posters, signed items from bands, clothing from tours that included the venue, in addition to potential audio or even video recordings from concerts at the Hall, including those at our Student Union (University House). We know that some of these items have personal value and we are happy to accept photos of physical items.   

Alongside this, the digital archive will also seek to capture unique written memories from the concerts, whether it was the time they met a significant other, the first gig they went to or even the last gig they went to.

Whether you worked during the University during its years as a gig venue, alumni, a concertgoer, we want to hear from you. 

Alexandra Mitchell, Archivist at the University of Salford said: "We want to create a digital archive collection that captures the tangible and intangible heritage of Maxwell Hall and its iconic musical history.

"We are all aware of its reputation as a storied music venue and we wanted to bring everything together to make more of this and celebrate it."

The building opened on Sunday 21 May, 1961 and the first record of a concert at the hall is Dave Berry and The Cruisers on Wednesday 25 March, 1964. The venue went on to have gigs from the likes of Paul McCartney, U2, Blondie and The Smiths with The Charlatans playing the last touring gig at the venue in December 2004. 

However, there may have been gigs that took place which we have no record of or gaps in the venue's musical heritage that we need to fill in.  We also know that gigs took place at the Students Union and at the Salford College of Technology which we would like to include.

Evan Hurst, Project Assistant, added: "We recognise that for us to have a complete picture as possible of the venue's musical history, we can't just rely on our own archives and so we are asking the public and our alumni to help us fill in the blanks and complete the picture of Maxwell Hall."

The archives will be held in a new page on the Salford Digital Archives, which is open to all to peruse. 

We have provided a form to get in contact with us in which you can detail the item or information you have for consideration for the archive.

For those who are submitting their written stories for consideration, we ask that you keep it to a short example and we will see if we need to come back to you for more information on your story.

If you have a physical item that you wish to donate to the archive in person, you can get in touch with the team at library-archives@salford.ac.uk to arrange for this to be dropped off. 

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.