Flying Nun Master Tapes Now Safe In Alexander Turnbull Library 

Flying Nun Master Tapes Now Safe In Alexander Turnbull Library 

The Alexander Turnbull Library, part of the National Library of New Zealand, has become the safe and secure repository of Flying Nun Records’ collection of master tapes. 

The library’s archive of NZ music now includes several hundred masters from recordings made between 1981 to the mid-2000s. The collection includes tracks from legendary Nun acts that include The Chills, The Bats, The Verlaines, JPSE, Look Blue Go Purple, Sneaky Feelings, Headless Chickens and Bailterspace.

“The music of Flying Nun is a huge part of our culture and was significant in forging important music connections internationally,” said Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin who announced the acquisition. 

Many of the master tapes are in fragile condition or on obsolete formats and require urgent preservation. The library will digitally preserve all of the recordings over the next three years so that the iconic label’s music heritage remains safe and accessible. 

Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd, ONZM, says many of the artists were concerned that the master tapes of the music were at risk of being lost forever due to deterioration, and needed to be housed in a  climate-controlled and earthquake-proofed environment.

“The Turnbull Library was a natural choice, because it has first-class preservation and research facilities, and was also willing to work with our artists to make their amazing and well-loved music accessible and still preserve all their rights.”

“The Library is honoured to be entrusted with this hugely important music collection,” says the library’s Curator of Music, Michael Brown. “Flying Nun has consulted with artists about the project, which has been important to its success so far. We’re committed to protecting all the artists’ rights inherent in the material. And, once the masters have been preserved and digitised, we’re really looking forward to working with Flying Nun on future re-issues of the music, exhibitions and other opportunities.”