By Robert McNicol, Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Opened in 1977, the Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library, part of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, is the most comprehensive collection of tennis publications in the world. We hold books, periodicals, programmes and other publications from more than 90 different countries.
As with everything at Wimbledon, we are always looking for ways to evolve and improve how we do things. That’s why we were delighted to team up with the UK Web Archive to put together a curated collection of tennis websites. The Tennis collection sits within the Sports Collection (Ball Sports Excluding Football) section of the UK Web Archive Sports Collection.
So far, we have added over 70 sites to the Tennis collection but ultimately the aim is to archive all UK-based tennis websites. This includes websites of tennis clubs, governing bodies and media, as well as the websites and social media feeds of individual players. We have already added the Twitter feeds of all world-ranked British players to the collection.
Social media archiving is an area we are particularly interested in and we have been experimenting with using Webrecorder to archive social media feeds to a level not possible on the UK Web Archive. We have recently conducted several trials, using both the manual and auto-pilot functions of Webrecorder to archive the Wimbledon Twitter and Instagram feeds. We have had mixed results from these pilot projects and would be interested in comparing notes with any other organisations that have used Webrecorder to perform social media archiving.
As well as social media feeds, we have been using Webrecorder to archive our own website, Wimbledon.com, which, as a particularly dynamic website, the UK Web Archive struggles to capture fully. Wimbledon.com is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary and by archiving it regularly we will be able to save the information contained in it for researchers of future generations. In the same way, we have also been trialling the archiving of our AELTC Intranet site, Wimbledon Insider.
We’ve greatly enjoyed our collaboration with the UK Web Archive so far and are very grateful for the web archiving advice that they have provided. We hope that our tennis expertise has also been of benefit to the UK Web Archive and the British Library. We look forward to working together for many years to come.
If you would like to nominate a tennis website to be archived, please fill in the public nomination form on the UK Web Archive website or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you.
You can watch Robert McNicol’s presentation on the EWA YouTube Channel.