In 2007, the Music Department at the University of York and Music Preserved were jointly awarded an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, enabling research into Music Preserved's rare audio archives – recordings of live music performances and broadcasts housed within the UYSA. The Award funds three PhD students over five years to work with the Music Preserved collections, in research, digitizing and cataloguing.
In its first year (2007–8), the project recruited an audio engineer with research interests in early stereo; in addition to pursuing his doctoral research, this student has been receiving special training in transferring music from obsolete media into digital formats. In the second year (2008–9), the project recruited a student with an archival cataloguing background and research interests in performance practice as documented in archival materials including recordings, especially those of live performances. In the third year, the project is currently recruiting a student with contrasting research interests involving the Music Preserved collections.
Through this collaborative effort, creative research into audio recordings will be furthered through three differently-focused doctoral dissertations; in addition, the rare Music Preserved recordings will become a sustainable, accessible resource for music research in the digital age.