Monday, May 28, 2012

Olympic Records On-Line

Hundreds of historic documents and images relating to the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been made available online by the National Archives in the United Kingdom for the first time.
The new site the Olympic Record includes a timeline feature which enables visitors to track back through time and browse material from every summer olympics, from athens 1896 to beijing in 2008.
The files show the impact the Olympic movement has had in our hsitory in the 116 years since the modern Games were revived. From a brief dispatch in 1896 to the hugh presence today, the records reflect the growth of the Games throughout the 20th century as well as its remarkable survival through two world wars, political turmoil and boycotts.
Highlights from over 180 online records include: records from the London Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948, including arrangements for the first marathonat the now standard distance of 26.22 miles and accommodation and rations for athletes in the aftermath of the Second World War; Foreign Office discussions over Britain's participation in the controversial Nazi-run Berlin olympics in 1936; papers relating to the Greater London Council's plan to host the Olympics in London's docklands in 1984 and 1988 and Manchester's failed bid for the Games in 2000; archived web pages in the UK Government Web Archive from Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The site also provides a gateway to the hundreds of different sporting and cultural activities happening across the country this Olympic northern summer, from celebrations at natioanl and regional venues to local school and community projects.
The National Archives has taken the lead in working with central and local government as wll as sporting, cultural, media and heritage organisations to ensure records relating to London 2012 are preserved for future generations. This will be the prelude to The National Archives taking and making available vast collections of digital records in the future. The National Archives is also helping other organisations to rpeserve and make accessible their Olympic records as a permanent legacy of this extraordinary event.
Photo: Frank Shortland, Cuca Cocoa cycling challenge cup champion.

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