The collection was originally formed in 1967 by Rexton S Bunnett and the late John Muir. Both had been avid collectors of musical theatre recording. Each started in the fifties and combined their collections into one. It has continued to grow with new items being added almost daily (see What’s New).
Built around sound and vision the collection’s earliest pieces are nineteenth century cylinders, then flat platter which became known as the ’78’. Sheet music was an important way of popularising new songs from the shows and these became available on piano rolls fore those who could not play the piano. The move to the 33 rpm long playing disc began in the late forties when in addition singles were issued on 45 rpm. The revolutionary transfer to CD is now has the competition of direct down load from the Internet. All these aspects are to be seen in the Archives.
The Trust now maintains and updates the collection and plans to enhance it with interviews of both established and new members of the musical theatre world and, where possible, video recordings of current musical productions. This will be available for future research and posterity.