Dr Lizabé Lambrechts

Postdoctoral Researcher
Project leader Hidden Years

+27 72 372 4140

Lizabé Lambrechts is a musicologist and heritage practitioner, affiliated as an Associate Professor Extraordinary at the Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has been a STIAS Fellow, a Visiting Scholar at the School for Oriental and African Studies, University of London and held two research grants from the Volkswagen Foundation. She previously worked as the Director of Archives at Africa Open (2020-2021), and as the Project Leader for the Hidden Years Music Archive Project, one of South Africa’s biggest popular music archives (2013-2021). From 2015-2018 she served as the Vice Chair of the South African Society for Music. She has set herself apart through entrepreneurial design and management of research projects that focus on the role that archives can play in the transformation of public discourse through activating community interaction. Her recent curatorial work and publications include “The Hidden Archives Vinyl Listening Sessions Vol 1 & 2”, “Record, Memory, Archive“, a short documentary on the Hidden Years and “The becoming of an archive: Perspectives on a music archive and the limits of institutionality,” published in Social Dynamics 2022.  She also works as the Chief Executive Officer for Nuuseum, a cultural heritage organisation.  

Currently she serves as the Research Director of the international project entitled Decay without mourning: Future thinking heritage practices, funded by the Rijksbanken Jubileumfonds. 

She is responsible for coordinating the South African team as well as overall research management of the DECAY team. She will use Hidden Years Music Archive as a space to map visual and auditory decay in the archive. Through collaborative experiments, her work will focus on the creation of academic and creative work that explore the generative potential of working with decay. 

  • Lambrechts, L. 2020. The becoming of an archive: Perspectives on a music archive and the limits of institutionality. Social Dynamics, Forthcoming.
  • Lambrechts, L., & Taylor, J. 2020. They called me the “Ag Pleez Deddy” man: On the be(longing) of Jeremy Taylor. SAMUS: South African Music Studies, Vol 39. Forthcoming.
  • Lambrechts, L. 2018. Letting the Tape Run: The creation and preservation of the Hidden Years Music Archive. South African Journal of Cultural History 32(2), 1-23
  • Lambrechts, L. & E. Van der Wal. 2018. Landscapes of Loss: Curatorial Mapping and the Use of Archival Sound Recordings. Forthcoming, SAMUS 37
  • Lambrechts, L. 2016. Performing the Aporias of the Archive: Towards a Future for South African Music Archives. Historia 61(1): 132-154.


  • Lambrechts, L. 2016. An Encounter with the archive: dealing with the challenges of representing a history. Conference proceedings from the 19th Annual History Seminar, ‘Ernesto Restrepo Tirado’, entitled “Ojos abiertos, oídos despiertos:” Patrimonio audiovisual como fuente de análisis histórico (Sound and image as historical sources), 15-17 October 2015, National Museum of Colombia, Bogota. ISSN 2422-4677.


  • Lambrechts, L. 2015. The house where history ended up: Packing up the Ben Segal Collection. Fontes Artis Musicae, Special Topics issue on Archives as Evidence 62(3): 166-182.


  • Lambrechts, L., & Vos, S. 2019. The Hidden Archives Vinyl Listening Sessions: Vol 1, featuring Robert Machiri and Atiyyah Khan. GUS Gallery, 3 April 2019. Two vinyl selectors were invited to make a selection from the Hidden Years Music Archive around the theme of the pan-African diaspora. The Hidden Archives Vinyl Listening Sessions Presented in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Forum for Popular Music (IfPOP), Project Leader, Stephane Vos. “https://vimeo.com/356826518”
  • Lambrechts, L. & S. Vos. Record | Memory | Archive. International workshop, public talk and concert series, 5-7 September, Stellenbosch. “https://vimeo.com/257479828”


  • Lambrechts, L. 2016. Archive in Process: Unpacking the Hidden Years Music Archive. Performance Piece, 1-9 November 2016, Stellenbosch University.


  • Van der Wal, E. & L. Lambrechts. 2015-2016. As you are standing here. In collaboration with Allen Price (Ohio State University, Columbus), students and curators a mapping installation was created using recorded audio contributed through a mobile web application. It was exhibited as part of the Stellenbosch 360 outdoor art installations (July 2016-January 2017).