Exploring the Olympics & Paralympics Collection
The Olympic & Paralympic Games 2012 Collection is a growing collection of websites in the UK Web Archive which already (December 2010) contains a significant amount of material which will be useful to researchers studying the event, particularly from a social science perspective. Items include, for example, the websites of the main UK Olympic bodies including the official website of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Gamesand the British Olympic Association which includes details of London’s Olympics bid.
For an unofficial guide to the Olympics, the Olympic Park 2012 website is a good starting point. This website includes photos of the Games’ construction sites and is useful resource for tracking preparations for 2012 from the perspective of people who live in the area.
The infrastructure required to support the Games will have a significant social and economic impact on the local boroughs in which they will be held. See for example Lewisham Council’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic website. Lewisham is one of the closest geographical neighbours to the host boroughs and represents a gateway to the Games and the capital. Preparations for the Olympics include: refurbishing the Ladywell Arena, the development of the Downham Health and Leisure Centre, improvements to Lewisham Town Centre, the development of Convoys Wharf and the regeneration of Deptford Station, including a 10 minute connection to London Bridge. A four-year cultural festival will accompany the games and Lewisham plans to play a part in this, contributing to events, exhibitions and educational activities.
Examples of citizen journalism within the Olympics Collection include the website of Ken Frost, a well respected accountant who writes about wider issues across several Blogs including one focussing on the 2012 Olympics. This Blog highlights the budget overruns, political ineptitude, inefficiency and mismanagement which many perceive surrounds the Games. Several other Blogs and commentaries reflect concerns over the Olympic overspend including the 2012 Watchdog from the Taxpayer's Alliance which monitors the costs to the taxpayer of the 2012 Games.
Other items in the Collection relate to arts, culture and the Games. The V&A for example has recently acquired a torch from the 1948 London Olympics, which is thought to have been used on the Belgium leg of its trip across Europe. Again on art, the official Olympics logo generated a lot of criticism when it was launched in June 2007, much of which has been reflected on the Web and is captured in the Archive.
We have highlighted just a few examples from the Olympic & Paralympic Games 2012 Collection. To view the complete collection of archived websites or to find out more about collection development policies, technical information or for details of how to nominate a website for archiving please visit the UK Web Archive.