By Georgina Bentley, Service Manager Community-based Customer & Cultural Services at Wigan Council
The Heritage Fund awarded £500,000 to a programme which is recording the hidden history of women’s football and launched a celebration of the game, its players, and communities in partnership with the UEFA Women’s EUROs.
Alongside this programme, the UK Web Archive is also archiving UK-published websites about the tournament. In this guest blog post, we hear from Georgina Bentley from Wigan Council about their contribution to the collection.
Wigan Council is the local authority for the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan in the North West of England. The Council have been one of the 10 host cities for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, hosting 4 matches at the Leigh Sports Village.
What did you collect for your museum/archive while working on this project?
From the start we wanted to ensure the stories of our local pioneers were central to our collection approach. Supported brilliantly by our archive volunteers, we established a much deeper understanding of how the game had developed in the borough, whilst a call out for local women and girls to share their stories provided us with the source material from which our heritage projects developed.
We translated this material via a series of creative heritage programmes including temporary exhibitions, contemporary collecting events at the fan parties and projects such as A Place At The Table and Around The Match.
The programme has already increased our existing collection with more coming forward. The material collected to date includes a range of oral histories, memorabilia, photographs, news articles, programmes, alongside the output of the creative heritage projects such as the new kit, pin badge and programme developed for the Around The Match.
What kind of online content did you select for the UK Web Archive collection?
With our content selection we wanted to try and capture the breadth of the heritage programme in the borough as it has been an incredibly rich experience to celebrate the amazing stories of our women and girls that play and love the game. This includes:
- Event pages from cultural sites.
- Project websites
- Online newspapers
What websites are important for telling the story of the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 tournament in your area?
The Visit Wigan web page encapsulate the breadth of opportunity the tournament afforded locally to celebrate elite women’s sport and be inspired to participate.
The Around The Match web page tell the story of 11 women and girls brought together to form a new team. Their individual passions and stories beautifully expressed in a wonderful film on the site that also has details of the contemporary memorabilia created to mark the tournament in the borough. The memorabilia is currently for sale, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the grass roots game locally as a lasting legacy.
The A Place At The Table web page follows the history of women’s football both locally and in context to the national and international game. Each table from the project focuses on a point in history that highlights the place of women in football, as well the parallels with the development of rights for women and wider society at the time.
Browse through the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 and let us know if there is any UK published content that should be added to the collection. Anyone can suggest UK published websites to be included in the UK Web Archive by filling in our nominations form: www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/info/nominate