The history of the women’s game in England is set to be brought to life for the first time thanks to an innovative digital archive project which will create a new virtual exhibition, celebrating historical moments in the development of women’s football.
The English Women’s Football Archive project (EWFA), which has FA backing, will catalogue artefacts, photographs and memorabilia in digital format and use video and audio voiceovers to bring to life the history and stories behind each item.
And the virtual exhibition will be housed entirely online and free to access, allowing the EWFA to tell the story of the women’s game on a greater scale and to a wider audience than ever before.
We're now asking fans, players, coaches and administrators of the game to contact the archiving team if they have any items which could be of interest for the project.
Dave Bowler, the EWFA’s coordinator, said: “This is not only a very exciting project it is culturally essential, ensuring the development of the women’s game in England is properly catalogued and recorded as an integral part of this country’s incredible footballing and cultural heritage.
“As we are all currently spending considerably more time at home, now is the perfect time for fans, current and former players, coaches and administrators to check their attics, cellars, cupboards and storage for anything they think may make an important contribution to our archive.
“Rest assured that as this project will create a virtual museum we are not asking anyone to relinquish their treasured items. In the first instance, all we ask is that we receive a photo or video of items that could be of historical interest.
“No item is insignificant, however humble it may appear, as it could be vital in helping us chart the history of women’s football in England. All items selected for inclusion in the project will be professionally photographed or filmed by our archiving team in due course.
“We’re also equally keen to hear contributor’s anecdotes, memories and opinions which can help breathe life and meaning into the items we display and we look forward to unearthing some fascinating, insightful stories.”
Sue Campbell, our director of women’s football, added: “This is a vitally important project that we are proud to support. A public archive celebrating the development of the women’s game and the incredible change and growth it has witnessed is of immense cultural and sporting value.
“We know that many people have dedicated considerable time and effort over the years to record the history of the women’s game in England, but to have a centralised digital resource such as this, charting women’s football from its roots right through to the present day will be invaluable.”
Gail Newsham, author of ‘In a League of Their Own’, a history of Dick, Kerr Ladies team, backed the project, saying: “This is a fantastic and exciting initiative. I’m delighted to be able to support The FA and the England Women’s Football Archive by sharing some of the incredibly rich history of the early years of women’s football.
“It will give me the opportunity to share - for the very first time - some rare items relating to the Dick, Kerr Ladies, arguably one of the most important teams in the history of our game. I can’t wait for everyone to see them!"
If you would like to contribute items or memories for consideration for the museum, or would like some further information please email now. The closing date for initial submissions is 30 June 2020.
The Lionesses line-up from above is as follows: (Front Row L-R) Sian Williams, Jo Broadhurst, Gillian Coultard, Kathy Burke, Kelly Smith (Back Row L-R) Tina Mapes, Alex Cotter, Pauline Cope, Hope Powell, Mo Marley, Deb Bampton.