Sporting heritage research

The literature specifically connected with sporting heritage is growing.  The following provides some of the activity and research to date in the field delivered by Sporting Heritage.

The Hood report – Mapping sporting heritage

In 2006, the Sporting Heritage Network commissioned Annie Hood to research the collections relating to sporting heritage in the UK’s heritage venues. The resulting report is a fantastic demonstration of the array of heritage held in the UK. It was the first time a formal record of the collections had been made and provides a brilliant starting point for the development of sport in museums. The network is building on this in the form of the National Sports Museum Online, to create an ongoing record of sporting collections in the UK.

A scoping study of sporting heritage in the UK

This study was conducted on behalf of the Sport in Museums Network (formally Sports Heritage Network) and established the position of sporting heritage as a subject matter for museums in 2012, during and after the London 2012 Olympic Games. The author conducted surveys and discussions with a range of stakeholders and provides conclusions about the risks to the development of the sector and recommendations for development.

Our Sporting Life final report

Our Sporting Life was a touring exhibition programme delivered across the UK by the Sports Heritage Network in support of the 2012 London Olympics. The funding for the programme came from MLA and subsequently Arts Council England, and saw over 1 million people attend over 100 exhibitions.

Sport, Museums and Cultural Policy

This is a PhD thesis examining the role and value of sport in museums. The thesis includes a short history of the development of sport as a subject matter for museums, its place within wider cultural policy, impact in museums in general, and more specifically the impact of sport in museums on audiences and organisations.

  • The Development of Sport in Museums, 2015  – from the download section below. This article examines the position of sport in museums as both an academic and practical discipline. It established the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and provides ideas which support this development.
  • Uniting sport and heritage: An Evaluation of the Our Sporting Life Exhibition Programme, 2014 – from the download section below. This article outlines some of the key benefits and issues associated with delivering the Our Sporting Life programme. It examines in depth the different outcomes of the programme for audiences and organisations and suggests more activity in the field is vital to support new and different audiences to access their heritage.

You can download the thesis volume 1 here and volume 2 here .

There are two texts which also cover the field of sporting heritage and sport in museums

Hill, J., Moore, K., and Wood, J. Sport, History and Heritage: An Investigation into the Public Representation of Sport. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2012.

Phillips, M. Representing the Sporting past in Museums and Halls of Fame. New York: Routledge, 2012.


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