British Library

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The British Library is the United Kingdom’s national library. It receives a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland and contains well over 150 million items, with 3 million new items added every year.

Our collection

The collection includes a wide range of sports-related publications, from early printed books, manuscripts, reports and statistics to contemporary secondary source material and oral history resources. Sports materials in languages from across the world are also selectively acquired.

The collection is particularly strong in sports periodicals, with archive collections of annuals such as Wisden Cricketer’s Almanac, (held from1864 onwards), and modern monthlies like Runner’s World and Hockey Sport. These are supplemented by the daily, weekly, and fortnightly sports publications formerly held at the British Library’s Newspaper Library at Colindale and now available at St Pancras. The Library has recently opened a Newsroom where these can be seen, along with extensive broadcast news reports.

Special collections:
Sport business and intellectual property information is available in the Business and IP Centre Reading Room.
We archive sport websites as part of the UK Web Archiving Consortium.
We keep oral histories of sport in our Sound collections.
Materials concerning the physiological aspects of sport are kept in our Science and Technology collections.
Football researchers in particular should note the Library’s growing collection of fanzines, which is one of the largest in the UK.