The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in France from the 7th June to the 7th July 2019. Although women's world cups date back as far as the early 1970s, the FIFA Women’s World Cup was only established in 1991. This is the fifth time that England have qualified for the FIFA World Cup but it is a first for Scotland who also join England in Group D of the competition.
Traditionally, women’s sport and in particular football is not well represented in the mainstream media but this is slowly starting to change. Coverage of events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup is increasing, one way to gauge this is to see how many resources on the .uk web were archived. This trend graph on the UK Web Archive Shine interface, which contains all the archived .uk websites from 1996 to April 2013 shows that for each of the World Cup years that there was an increase in coverage on the .uk webspace. By clicking at a point in the graph a sample of up to 100 websites appears below the graph. There were four competitions (1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011) held during the period 1996 and 2013, but England was the only country from the UK to qualify in the 2007 and 2011 competitions. Thus, it is not surprising that there are just 11 references to “FIFA Women’s World Cup” in 1999 while there were 4,930 in 2011 on Shine Trends.
The UK Web Archive aims to archive the UK web space. It does this through curating collections and an annual domain crawl, which has been running since 2013 when the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations came into force in April 2013. Sport is a popular subject on the web, however, it is a subject area that is underrepresented in many traditional libraries and archives. The UK Web Archive works across the six UK legal Deposit Libraries and with other external partners to try and bridge gaps in our subject expertise. We have three curated collections related to sport, one of which is dedicated to the many codes of football. These collections don’t differentiate by gender but balance between male and female representation in the collections will be skewed due to the lack of gender equality that exists in all parts of society, including the news industry. According to a UNESCO report ‘only 12 percent of sports news is presented by women worldwide, and only four percent of media content is dedicated to women's sports’.
Mega sporting events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup generates a lot of ephemeral material both in print and online. On average the lifespan for a webpage is 100 days and unless it is archived, it could disappear forever. Have you spotted any UK published web content related to the England, Scotland, Germany, USA or the odds-on favourite Japan? Then fill in our Public Nomination Form and it will be added soon after:
The only criteria that nominations to the UK Web Archive have to pass, is that the content is published from the UK (but it doesn’t have to be in English, there are multiple languages in the archive) and that it is not predominately audio-visual based platforms like Soundcloud and YouTube. Although, social media does fall into scope for Non-Print Legal Deposit with the exception of Twitter other platforms are very difficult to archive and we haven’t been able to archive Facebook since 2015.
Browse through the UK Web Archive Sports: Football collection and see if we have your local club website or Twitter account, your favourite fan sites and any other football related content you enjoy viewing. Feel free to nominate your website.
The British Library is currently hosting the (FREE) exhibition: 'An Unsuitable Game for Ladies: A Century of Women's Football' (14 May – 1 September 2019).
by Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archiving, The British Library