Explore Women’s Football in the UK Web Archive
By Helena Byrne, Curator Web Archives, The British Library
On 5 December 1921, the Football Association (FA) banned women from playing football on affiliated grounds and stated that football is “quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged” (FIFA.com). It took almost fifty years to overturn this ban. With the formation of the Women’s Football Association (WFA) in 1969 the FA were under more pressure to remove the ban. It was at the FA Council Meeting on January 19th, 1970 that the FA made the decision to rescind the Councils Resolution of 1921.
To celebrate 52 years since the ban was lifted, this blog post gives a quick overview of women’s football in the UK Web Archive (UKWA). To mark National Sporting Heritage Day back in 2018 we published a blog post outlining the UKWA sports collection policies.
History of the Women's FA, archived in 2018
Sport has always been included in the UKWA archive since it’s formation in 2005. In recent years we have been blogging more about these collections. Football in all its varieties is probably the most popular sport in the UK, which is why there is a collection dedicated exclusively to football and related activities. The most developed subsection of this collection is on soccer with almost 4,000 items in the collection. These range from individual web pages, subsections of websites as well as full websites, blogs and some social media platforms.
Explore the extensive Soccer collection on the UK Web Archive Website.
We have collected a wide range of content from sports clubs (amateur and professional), fan sites, football research and events. There is no distinction in the collection based on gender as all content related to the sport is treated equally.
Accessing the UK Web Archive
Under the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations 2013, we can archive UK published websites but are only able to make the archived version available to people outside the Legal Deposit Libraries Reading Rooms, if the website owner has given permission.
Some of the websites in UKWA that have already had permission granted, include Charlton Athletic Women, Sent Her Forward and Tartan Kicks: The Magazine For Scottish Women's Football. Some examples of websites that are onsite-only access include the Crawley Old Girls (COGS), Her Game Too and Dick, Kerr Ladies FC 1917-1965: Women's Football History.
Tartan Kicks website, archived in 2019
As the content of UKWA has mixed access, the message ‘Viewable only on Library premises’ will appear under the title of the website if you need to visit a Legal Deposit Library to view the content. If there is no message underneath then the archived version of the website should be available on your personal device.
Get involved with preserving women’s football online with the UK Web Archive
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. But we can’t curate the whole of the UK web on our own, we need your help to ensure that information, discussion and creative output related to women’s football are preserved for future generations. Anyone can suggest UK published websites to be included in the UK Web Archive by filling in our nominations form.
Keep an eye on the UKWA blog and Twitter account to find out more details on our forthcoming collection to preserve the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 competition taking place across England from July 6 to July 31, 2022.