by Deborah Jenkins, Chair of the European Region, International Council on Archives
Girona 9 October 2018
It is a commonplace of archive management that the structure of an organisation shapes the records it generates. An interesting example of this was discussed at a recent meeting of the Sports Section of the International Council on Archives held in Girona on 9th October 2018.
A comparison of the archives of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games with those of the London 2012 Games demonstrates this clearly. For the Barcelona Games, much of the archive is now integrated into the City Archive, and the work on this paper archive is advanced. The records of the London event, however, are spread across a number of repositories including London Metropolitan Archives and the UK National Archives, reflecting the role which the British government played in the negotiations and the generally more centralised government structures in the British Isles. Of course, another important difference arises because the archive of the London Olympics were mostly born digital, a first for Olympic archives.
As part of the activities associated with the London Games, a web site was created in 2012, ‘Sporting Cities’, which gives an indication of what happened to the records of the summer games for the whole of the modern era. It would be a useful contribution from the archival community if this web site could be updated as the baton passed from Olympic City to Olympic City!