THE BRITISH LIBRARY

UK Web Archive blog

2 posts categorized "Sports"

30 September 2019

The Magic of Wimbledon in the UK Web Archive

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By Robert McNicol, Librarian at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

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The magic of Wimbledon is its ability to preserve its history and tradition while simultaneously embracing the future. When you enter the Grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, you know you’re somewhere special. It’s the spiritual home of the sport and you can feel the history all around you. And yet Wimbledon in 2019 is also a thoroughly modern sporting venue with state-of-the-art facilities for players, spectators, officials and broadcasters. While Wimbledon loves its traditions (the grass courts, the all-white clothing, the strawberries & cream), it has always been looking ahead as well. From the very first Lawn Tennis Championships in 1877, to the introduction of Open tennis in 1968, to the building of roofs on Centre and No.1 Courts. Wimbledon is both the past and the future of tennis.

It’s in this same spirit that the Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library has teamed up with the British Library to curate a collection of tennis websites for the UK web archive. This is a subsection of the much larger Sports Collection on the UK Web Archive Website. Using the latest technology to preserve the past, it’s a project that captures the essence of Wimbledon.

Naturally, one of the first websites we added to the Tennis collection was our own. Wimbledon.com was established in 1995 and is very excited to be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year.  This project ensures that, in future, researchers will be able to go back and search the contents of the Wimbledon website from previous years. We have also archived some Wimbledon social media feeds, including the Twitter feed of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, of which the Library is part.

However, the ultimate aim is to archive a complete collection of UK-based tennis websites. This will include sites belonging to governing bodies, clubs, media and individual players. One part of the project already completed is to archive the Twitter feeds of all British players with a world ranking. From Andy Murray and Johanna Konta to Finn Bass and Blu Baker, every British player with a Twitter account has had it saved for posterity!

If you want to hear more about the project, you may be interested in attending Wimbledon’s Tennis History Conference on Saturday 9 November, where Helena Byrne (Curator of Web Archiving at the British Library) will be joining me to do a joint presentation.

And if you’d like to know more about the Wimbledon Library, feel free to get in touch. We’re the world’s biggest and best tennis library, holding thousands of books, periodicals and programmes from more than 90 different countries. We’re open by appointment to anyone with an interest in researching tennis history. https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/atoz/library_research_enquiries.html

Finally, if you’d like to nominate a tennis or other sporting websites for us to archive, go to our Save a UK website form: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/info/nominate

10 February 2012

London Calling! Announcing the London 2012 Special Collection

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The 2012 London Olympic & Paralympic Games have already generated a huge presence on the Web. To reflect and record this momentous event, the British Library’s web archiving team are building a special collection of websites: the London 2012 Collection. 

We have been selecting Olympic related websites since 2008, though some of the content in the collection is even older and dates back to 2005 when London was one of the hopeful cities bidding to host the Games. The collection is intended to reflect not only the event itself but all aspects of the Games including their social and economic impact on London and the UK. Websites include those of official bodies such as London2012.com and the British Olympic Association as well as those of UK athletes, local councils, opinion forums and the Games’ corporate sponsors. 

Alternative or dissenting voices are included to ensure a cohesive collection that represents the full spectrum of contemporary opinion about the Games. For example, several blogs and commentaries reflect concerns over the London Olympic overspend including the 2012 Watchdog from the Taxpayer's Alliance which monitors the costs to the taxpayer of the 2012 Games. Ken Frost's Olympic Blogspot monitors issues such as political developments, Olympics executive’s salaries and environmental concerns.

Other items in the Olympics Collection relate to arts and culture inspired by the Games. For example, the V&A has recently acquired a torch from the 1948 London Olympics, which is thought to have been used on the Belgium leg of its trip across Europe.

Currently, around 250 websites are already available to view in the UK Web Archive’s Olympic Collection. New websites are being added all the time and will continue to be archived until the end of 2012 to record the impact of the Games beyond the main event. Websites have been selected by subject specialists or curators across the British Library as well as members of the public. If you would like to nominate a site for inclusion in the archive we would be very pleased to hear from you. 

Nicola Johnson
Web Archivist, The British Library