Today the Museum of Youth Culture launches a major partnership with Google Arts & Culture, which will allow people to explore its vast archive of material online for the first time. Founded in 1997 by Jon Swinstead, co-founder of 90s fashion title Sleazenation, the non-profit collects images, videos, flyers and other ephemera that encapsulate youth culture in London and the UK. Now thanks to a collaboration with Google’s cultural platform, the archive of 16,000 photographs, 40 curated exhibits and 18 videos will be available as a “digital museum” – brought to life with Google Street view locations and embedded playlists.
Exploring the UK’s “rich tapestry of social movements, subcultures, sounds and styles” from post-war Britain to today, the Museum of Youth Culture intends to animate the UK’s cultural legacy, including contributions by photographers Gavin Watson and Normski, fashion curator Amy de la Haye, and writers from Reading University’s Subcultures Network. It spans the “birth of the teenager” in the 50s, to the emergence of festival culture in the 60s, the impact of acid house in the 80s, and beyond, with the online archive continuing to be updated and expanded.
“This is a fantastic and pivotal moment for the Museum of Youth Culture,” Swinstead said in a statement. “The result is more than 20 years of collecting, archiving and researching youth-led British social history, to be right here now launching the Museum of Youth Culture with the help of our partners at Google Arts and Culture. We are looking forward to exciting developments ahead.” One of its future goals is to open a physical museum in London.
Explore the online Museum of Youth Culture here.