Clarets Collected is up and running!

The Burnley FC book collection at the Library
Zaberjad Iftikhar, Lancashire Archives
St Peter's pupils enjoy their visit
St Peter's school (with permission)

It’s been a busy first month for the Clarets Collected at Burnley Central Library

When I took up my post as Engagement Officer on 9th October my main task was to start to get the huge amount of books, programmes, press cuttings, research papers and general memorabilia that had been so generously donated into at least some sort of shape ready for our official opening on Friday 3rd November.

This we were able to achieve and the VIP opening day, attended by senior officials from LCC, the FLA, and several ex-players from the team of the 1970’s to mark Dave Thomas’s latest book on that team, was a hugely enjoyable and rewarding occasion.

We then opened to everyone on the following Saturday morning before Burnley’s home game against Crystal Palace and welcomed 70 people of all ages to explore the Collection and take part in our football themed family activities. Since then we have welcomed over 180 people who have engaged with the Collection, some doing their own research but many simply enjoying trips down memory lane, engaging with their past.

Highlights so far have included giving a talk on the Collection to an over 50’s group run by Burnley FC in the Community, and our first school visit when year 2 pupils from St Peter’s in Simonstone had great fun learning about the history and heritage of Burnley FC in the town using activities devised by David Tilsley the Senior Archivist  before going on to a guided tour of Turf Moor in the afternoon.

We look forward to welcoming more such school visits in the New Year, but before then there will be a great open event with the National Football Museum on 16th December, and members of  the Burnley Civic Society will also be paying a visit to hear all about the Collection.

In addition a key task now is to recruit more volunteers to help with sorting and indexing the Collection, making it more accessible to all. Recruitment is active, and we already have had some volunteers coming forward. All in all, exciting times ahead!

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