ARCHIVES: Volume L (2015): Double Sports Issue: abstracts!
Eleanor Hoare, SPORT AT ETON COLLEGE
A consideration of the rich collection of sporting records held in the archives of Eton College, tracing the development of sporting activity at the school.
Mark Blandford-Baker, ‘UPON THE ELYSIAN STREAM’ AN OXFORD COLLEGE BOAT CLUB’S ARCHIVE AND ITS OARSMEN
Tracing the history of inter-collegiate rowing at Oxford University through the archives of the Magdalen College Boat club.
Steve Tate, ‘YOURS TO HAND, AND THE FOLLOWING IS THE INFORMATION YOU REQUIRE . . .’: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR IN THE JAMES CATTON ARCHIVE AT ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB MUSEUM AND THE PRACTICALITIES OF WRITING THE NEWS ON THE EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY SPORTING PRESS
This paper considers the collection of correspondence and ephemera associated with the career of sports reporter James Catton, which is held by Arsenal Football Club Museum in London. The Catton material, including items dating from the 1880s to the 1930s, is examined in terms of the potential insight it can provide into the working practices of a successful sports journalist, in particular in the writing of news, in the development of a network of contacts and informants and in the business of knowledge management. The increasing digitisation of Victorian and early twentieth-century newspapers is making the press an ever-more accessible archive for the historian engaged in research, although the journalists who wrote the news often remain at best anonymous within, and more often absent from, the process. The paper considers the opportunity presented by the Catton material to add substance and historicity to the often-elusive figure of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century reporter. The cuttings and correspondence volumes held by Arsenal FC reveal much about James Catton’s work regime and, given his central place in sports journalism in the decades spanning 1900, they in turn throw more light on the world of professional sport, the development of a popular press and the history of journalism.
Richard Haynes and Karl Magee, HOSTS AND CHAMPIONS: TAKING THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCOTLAND ARCHIVE ON TOUR
The University of Stirling holds the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive, a large collection of material recording the story of Scotland’s participation in the Commonwealth Games. Hosts and Champions: Scotland in the Commonwealth Games is a touring exhibition celebrating over 80 years of participation and achievement by Scotland in the Commonwealth Games from its origin as the British Empire Games held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930, through to Glasgow 2014. Drawn from the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive the exhibition displays a selection of photographs, designs, clothing, papers and artefacts which evoke a rich story of Scotland’s involvement in the Games, including as hosts in 1970, 1986 and 2014. This article traces the development of the touring exhibition, from the arrival of the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive at the university, through an initial pop-up exhibition in Glasgow during the 2014 Games and on to the current touring programme supported by Legacy 2014.
Ruth Paley, SOURCES FOR THE HISTORY OF BRITISH SPORT IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
The National Archives has catalogued over 100,000 of the records that it holds as sports related. Because until comparatively recently the majority of these records were created as a by-product of government actions, they are difficult to use systematically. This essay attempts to provide an overview of an otherwise amorphous and eclectic survival of information in order to facilitate and encourage research into the history of British sport.
The study of sporting history, once the province of amateur enthusiasts, started to attain academic respectability in the 1980s, and has grown steadily since, in status and scope. One of the issues facing researchers, however, has been that certain national associations and the majority of individual sports clubs have been demonstrably lax in curating their own archives and records. While this failing has been addressed in some quarters, particularly since the establishment of national museums for sports such as cricket, rugby, golf, tennis and football, at club and grassroots level neglect continues to cause concern. Although archival conservation was not part of the project’s remit, researchers working for the Played in Britain series of books for English Heritage (now Historic England) found repeated examples of historic records being destroyed, or stored in unsuitable locations, of records having been lost, stolen or allowed to fall into private hands, of priceless photographs being inappropriately mounted and displayed and of public records, such as ground plans, being discarded. Yet where records have survived, they have offered a rich source of material, not only for the study of sport but for local history, family history and for tapping into wider cultural, sociological and economic narratives.
Kenth Sjőblom, PROMOTING THE ARCHIVING OF SPORT HISTORY: ACTIONS AND AIMS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON ARCHIVES SECTION ON SPORTS ARCHIVES ICA-SPO
A consideration of the mission of the ICA-SPO, the section on sports archives of the ICA, which was inaugurated as a provisional section in 2004. It was approved as a permanent section four years later Its members are institutions, associations and individual persons who work with, or have an active interest in, sports archives. They range from Melbourne Cricket Club to FIFA, the Ski Museum in Finland, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Document Centre in Germany and the University of Namibia Library.
THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS PROJECT UNDERTAKEN BY THE BRITISH RECORDS ASSOCIATION AND THE SOLICITOR’S REGULATORY AUTHORITY/LAW SOCIETY
By Nat Alcock and Penelope Baker
Between spring 2012 and autumn 2014, the British Records Association (BRA) undertook a project with the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (SRA) under the aegis of the Law Society, to identify historical documents held by the SRA in its intervention archive, and arrange for their transfer to appropriate record offices. This report sets out the process, findings and outcomes of the project.