Bob Geldof's Band Aid archive arrives in Ireland

Bob Geldof's Band Aid archive has arrived in Ireland.

An archivist will spend up to two years cataloguing memorabilia from the famous 1984 campaign for those affected by famine in Ethiopia, the National Library of Ireland (NLI) said.

The Boomtown Rats frontman is giving the Irish state hundreds of letters, artwork, poetry and musical recordings after it was accumulated in a warehouse in London.

Much of it will be digitalised and put on display for the world to see at the NLI in Dublin.

Midge Ure and Bob Geldof at the Ivor Novello Awards for 1984 where they won a joint award for Do They Know It's Christmas? (PA)
Midge Ure and Bob Geldof at the Ivor Novello Awards for 1984 where they won a joint award for Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? (PA)

A statement from the library said: "In April 2018 the archive was brought from London to Dublin.

"A contract archivist will spend 18-24 months cataloguing the collection, at which point it will be available to all researchers through the National Library's Special Collections reading room.

"Selective digitisation will be carried out thereafter, and the digitised materials launched online with free access anywhere in the world, subject to copyright and data protection restrictions."

Geldof and co-writer Midge Ure's first version of Do They Know It's Christmas? raised £8 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.

They gathered a group of musicians together in 1984 for the charity single. It featured Geldof's fellow Irishman Bono, George Michael, Duran Duran, Phil Collins and Bananarama, among many others.

Bob Geldof sings at Live Aid at Wembley on July 13, 1985 (PA)
Bob Geldof sings at Live Aid at Wembley on July 13, 1985 (PA)

It helped inspire the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia on July 13 1985, and the Sport Aid campaign in 1986, all of which raised millions more.

The library statement added: "The NLI will develop a major exhibition in the National Photographic Archive to engage visitors of all ages and from across the world and explore opportunities for an international travelling exhibition."

The archive reveals the enormous level of organisation behind Band Aid.

A trove of documents, many on fading fax paper, captures the work of those who looked after fleets of ships and trucks which distributed relief.

It was the era of strikes in Britain but many workers suspended their industrial action to help, Sir Bob has said.

Revealing letters from public figures will be among those disclosed as well as reports on projects helped in Africa since 1985.

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