BAC Cataloguing Grant for business archives relating to Sports (2019-2020)

The cataloguing grant for business archives relating to sport was offered in 2019 and 2020. We had two fantastic winners of the award during these years. In 2021, the BAC made the hard decision to fund only one cataloguing grant programme, which is our main cataloguing grant. Organisations who hold business archives relating to sport are welcome to apply for this grant, but from 2021 onwards we will not be offering a grant specifically aimed at sports archives.

BAC is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2020 Grant for Business Archives related to Sports is East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust for cataloguing the archive collection of the West of Scotland Football Club.

In this, the second year of the grant, BAC was pleased to have received a number of applications with a very high standard of entries.  It was a difficult decision, but the panel felt that East Dunbartonshire’s cataloguing project would make a real difference, was achievable and realistic, and would lead to further projects and initiatives. 

East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLCT) was established by East Dunbartonshire Council and is a charitable company which was incorporated on 25 November 2010 and commenced trading on 1 April 2011.  Services are delivered from three leisure centres; 8 libraries, a museum, an art gallery and an arts centre.  East Dunbartonshire Archives Service collects and preserves the historical records of East Dunbartonshire and its people.

The records of the West of Scotland Football Club document the strong links between leisure as a business and the local community.  West of Scotland Football Club (despite the name, which is historical) is a rugby club situated in Milngavie near Glasgow.  It is a community amateur sports club servicing the Milngavie and Bearsden area and prides itself in being a vibrant part of that community.  Founded in 1865, West of Scotland is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world, and one of the founding members of the Scottish Rugby Union.  They have enjoyed a long and successful history, winning numerous Scottish Championships and producing an incredible number of international players, and a strong contingent of British and Irish Lions.  The records have recently been gifted to the EDLCT and once catalogued will be made available to the public.

The uncatalogued collection has become of particular interest as a result of the Club’s 150th anniversary.  The anniversary celebrations prompted discussion of the Club sharing its heritage with the wider community.  Rose Barn, Honorary Secretary of the West of Scotland Football Club, said in a letter of support, “We celebrated our 150th anniversary in 2015 and that event alone reminded us of how important the proper maintenance of our historical records is.”

Planned outcomes as a result of the BAC grant money to catalogue the collection which spans over a century of record keeping include: making the catalogue available online through the Archives Hub, the National Register of Archives Scotland (NRAS) and The National Archives (TNA) Discovery portal; selecting items for digitisation to upload to their Flickr account and on sporting memories websites; digitised items will be used in reminiscence sessions delivered by the EDLC Libraries service, Sports Heritage Scotland Memories Programme and made available to local groups such as Alzheimer’s Scotland; and an exhibition of collection items at Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie in 2022.

Richard McBrearty, Curator of the Scottish Football Museum, said in a letter of support, “From my own experience of researching early clubs, I can state that the West of Scotland archive is a major research resource for anyone interested in the development of sport and recreation in the city of Glasgow, particularly covering the second half of the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century, as well as for anyone interested in the wider story of the development of rugby football.  The range of archive material, from minutes and financial records, to the documents surrounding governance and the match records, mean that the archive will provide numerous areas of interest to a wide range of people.”

BAC is proud to support this project, particularly when the current situation is putting a huge strain on resources supporting cultural initiatives.

Read the final report here. The Archives Hub catalogue can be found here

Previous winners of the grant:

2019 – Falkirk Community Trust