POP museum might become POP central in Skara

Published: 2002-05-20 by Stellan Sagvik

The work on preparing an institute for pop music at the Västergötland Museum in Skara has just taken another step. In the survey concerning the interest in a pop museum and its feasibility, done by Dag Hallberg, the retiring head of the Gothenburg Opera, a resource center is suggested—a "POPCENTRAL," which will see to it that valuable material belonging to Swedish pop music history is preserved.

During the spring of 2000, the Västergötland museum in Skara presented a plan for instituting a museum for Swedish popular music, called POPMUS. The suggestion was noted with interest from many sources, but the idea did not progress beyond that point at the time.

The goal of POPMUS was for the museum to “make Swedish pop music history and development come alive through our own collection and loans from other sources.” POPMUS would take care of collecting works and documentation on a national level, thereby becoming a base for research on Swedish popular music.

As always, there were limited economic resources for these proud ideas.
“The most important thing today is to keep invaluable material belonging to Swedish pop music history from being lost. This requires that an instance be given the responsibility and means to receive, collect, and preserve such material in the form of sheet music, photographs, and other objects connected to the development of Swedish popular music. Just as important is to catalogue, organize into available databases, and, through the use of digital techniques, make available the material for music research and the interested general public. A center for documentation, a POPCENTRAL rather than a POPMUS, must therefore be created,” writes the survey, recommending that “Västergötland’s museum in Skara, together with the State Music Archives, create this POPCENTRALEN by adding space to the museum."

"POPCENTRALEN will then have a national responsibility for this area, and through collaboration with the State Music Archives will utilize its competence and exploit possibilities for coordination. POPCENTRALEN will then become a fourth entity, along with the State Music Library, Music Museum, and Swedish Folk Song Archive, all of which are part of the State Music Archives. POPCENTRALEN will be a base for music research and education.”

The report estimates the cost at around 20 million Skr and sketches several possible financing scenarios and personnel make-ups that, if they end up being reality, will create a popular music resource that can become quite a well-visited museum with collections from our own times.

“In this way, POPCENTRALEN will make many people’s dream of a documentation center and museum for Swedish popular music a reality, at a cost that is 25% of the investment and 50% of the operational cost suggested in the earlier plan for POPMUS," says Hallberg.

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