Welcome to the EMI Archive Trust

One of the world’s largest and most diverse music and technology archives.

The EMI Archive Trust is an independent UK registered charity set up in 1996 to preserve the history of EMI, whose origins date back to 1897.

Our collections cover an extraordinary journey through British and global history, starting with the early recorded music industry and the role that EMI (originally The Gramophone Company) played in the emerging industry’s development and globalisation, from 1897 through to 1946.

In addition to material relating to EMI’s musical heritage, the Trust also preserves artefacts associated with the company’s significant achievements in electrical engineering,  television, communications including radar, science and medicine, along with the early archives of the HMV music shops and the iconic Abbey Road Studios.

Artefacts include rare and unheard recordings from the first years of the recorded music industry, along with photographs, letters, diaries, sales catalogues and EMI company records. A multi-cultural and global archive, the Trust charts music’s impact on society through recordings, artist and performer histories and the technology, inventions and innovation that underpinned the industry.

With a strategic focus on building public access, through partnerships, education projects, community engagement, content creation and commercial opportunities, the EMI Archive Trust actively partners with global and local institutions to further expand its reach. The Trust delivers assets, curates heritage concepts, develops film and television content, creates education programmes, digitises priority recordings and papers, participates in international academic research projects and loans of rare artefacts.

Our collections are available, on site in London, to academics, discographers, researchers, our institutional partners and the general public upon request. Onsite filming, photography and interview requests are considered on a case by case basis. The Trust loans artefacts under strict policy guidelines to museums and exhibitions.

Wholly supported by Universal Music Group, the global leader in music-based entertainment, the administration of The Trust is undertaken by a Board of renowned independent Trustees, with pro-bono support from Universal Music Group employees.

The Trustees of the EMI Archive Trust invite you to contact our Heritage Curator, Joanna Hughes, for further information at joanna@emiarchivetrust.org

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