Blink and You’ll Miss it: The Delia Derbyshire Archives

Chloe Glover

deliaDespite being the woman responsible for the original Doctor Who theme tune Delia Derbyshire, one of Britain’s early electronic music pioneers, still rather unbelievably remains relatively unknown.

So much so in fact that many Mancunians don’t realise that the entire archive of her work is based in a centre just off one of their city’s the main traffic corridors.

Although not open for passing visitors due to it being manned by volunteers the archive, contained in the University of Manchester’s NOVARS Institute on Oxford Road, is accessible by appointment.

It was created in 2008 when the custodian of Delia Derbyshire’s collection, Mark Ayres, put it on permanent loan to a senior lecturer in Screen Studies, David Butler.

David’s challenge was to order and digitise the 267 tapes that had been found in her attic in  cereal boxes with peeling labels after she died in 2001 to introduce her work to…

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