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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let's help James Hyman preserve a vital part of our pop history

A few weeks ago I was shown round the archive of old magazines and newspapers in the basement of Time UK's offices. There were old copies of everything from NME to Woman's Own to TV Times and Horse and Hound.

I've seen this kind of treasure house before. If you've never worked in the magazine business you probably think all that stuff must be a really valuable resource. If you have worked in magazines you know it isn't, because it's never kept in a form that makes material easy to retrieve and it's difficult to re-publish because nobody knows who has the rights. From time to time publishers have plans but they always back down as soon as there's the threat of a copyright claim. I've seen it happen lots of times.

That's why I'm interested in the James Hyman Archive. This is the world's largest private collection of magazines and it just so happens that it's heavy on the music and lifestyle titles I've always had a personal and professional interest in. James (above with collection) has got backers and the support of industry body the PPA who are keen to see this collection digitised and turned into an archive which could be useful to all sorts of people in the advertising and media industries.

James explains more about it here. I've written a column about it for In Publishing. I'd like to see it happen, not because I might make a few pounds from it. I really don't care about the money. I care about the work and the people who did it.