Canadian music lovers lend an ear, one of the country’s largest collections of music, videos, music related documents and photography will soon find a new home in Calgary and be made available to the public.

On Thursday, Universal Music Canada announced the organization would be donating EMI Music Canada’s archives, acquired in a 2012 deal, to Calgary’s largest post-secondary institution.

The collection consists of:

  • More than 18,000 video recordings
  • More than 21,000 audio recordings (including master recordings and demo tapes)
  • More than 2,000,000 photographs and documents (including album cover art, song lyric drafts, and exchanges between artists)

"The EMI Music Canada Archive is one of the most culturally significant collections of the last century to be acquired by a research library," said Tom Hickerson, vice-provost. "The collection will be managed by the University of Calgary's Archives and Special Collections and made accessible to students, faculty and the public."

The collection will contribute to research and coursework within the U of C’s School of Creative and Performing Arts.

"Plans for an educational component around music and the ambitions for this archive are tremendously exciting," said Jeffrey Remedios, president and CEO of Universal Music Canada. "EMI Music Canada became the source of the music many Canadians grew up listening to. It's such a rich and treasured history and it's terrific that generations to come will have the opportunity to explore that."

EMI Music Canada was home to numerous Canadian artists ranging from Anne Murray to Nickelback, from Sarah McLachlan to Tom Cochrane, and was the Canadian distributor for some of the biggest international acts of the last half-century including the Beatles and Rolling Stones.

The 5,500 boxes that contain the collection will be transferred from Toronto in several shipments over the coming years.

Universal Music Canada will provide funding to the university to assist with the management and preservation of the collection.

To view a virtual exhibit of some of the items is available at University of Calgary - EMI