May 28, 2022

Music Archives: University of Calgary Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to “Broaden Access to EMI Music Canada Archive While Preserving Original Audio Materials”

From the University of Calgary:

One day you could be listening to musical gems that have been tucked away in boxes for years: a 1985 Anne Murray master recording of Now and Forever (You and Me) produced by David Foster. Corey Hart’s demo tape. An early video of the Matthew Good Band. Production master recordings by David Bowie and The Beatles.

The University of Calgary has received a grant of $275,000 CAD from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City for Libraries and Cultural Resources to design effective methods for reformatting, preserving and administering access to audio recordings in the EMI Music Canada Archive, one of the most culturally significant 20th century collections acquired by a research library.


The label was the recording company or distributor for a range of Canadian artists, including Anne Murray, Tom Cochrane, Nickelback, Glass Tiger, Kim Mitchell, Helix and the Rankin Family. The company was also the Canadian distributor for major international acts such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Heart, Smashing Pumpkins, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Queen and Iron Maiden.

Capitol Records Canada, under EMI Music Canada, was the first label to release The Beatles and Pink Floyd in North America.


The archive spans 63 years and includes more than 22,000 audio recordings on 40 different formats, many of which are becoming obsolete. More than 13,000 are master recordings and demo tapes. Among the recordings to be digitized are production master recordings of albums by David Bowie and The Beatles as well as the demo tapes of Corey Hart, April Wine, the Stray Cats, Matthew Good Band and Barenaked Ladies.

In its entirety, the archive consists of 5,500 boxes containing more than 18,000 video recordings, 22,000 audio recordings and more than two million documents and photographs. The entire record of EMI Music Canada, from its founding in 1949, includes master recordings, publicity photos, demo tapes, album cover art, creative outlines for music videos, marketing plans, awards, drafts of song lyrics and correspondence between artists, producers, engineers and company executives.

Read the Complete Announcement

** Search and Browse EMI Music Collection ***


U. of Calgary’s New EMI Music Archive is a Treasure Trove of Canadian Music History (June 25, 2016)

Backgrounder from U. of Calgary (2 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.