We are delighted to announce that we have been selected as the academic lead for the National Football Museum project Unlocking the Hidden History of Women’s Football. We will be working with the museum on several aspects of the project and so if you would like to get involved please get in touch. Our involvement in the project will last until September 2018 so there is plenty of time.
The first big task is to establish and lead a research network; to coordinate academic and community research and connect related collections on women’s football. There are many museums and archive with holdings containing women’s football, and jjheritage has worked with several of these including the British Library, The Imperial War Museum, The British Film Institute and The North West Film Archive along with colleagues from the Sporting Heritage Network and National Media Museum. There are also collections at various places of women’s work such as Lyons Tea Houses and Marks and Spencer, and some public history work funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund on the women’s team in Coventry, circa 1921.
There can be an international element to this as Jean has worked in archives on women’s football in China, USA, Australia, Namibia, as well as FIFA, UEFA and the International Olympic Committee collections in Switzerland. The Scottish Football Museum was very helpful in the past, and one outcome could be a scoping exercise of what is archived where, in relation to women’s football. We are also engaging the LGBTI communities and a number of equality and diversity groups in and around football.
A second major piece of the work is to host what we hope will be the largest international conference on women’s football on International Women’s Day 8/9 March 2018. We are hoping to bring over speakers from the US, Canada, Europe, and Brazil, as well as a wide range of UK speakers. A call for contributors will go out so if you wish to provide a blog post or contribute, look out for this later in November.
We will also research and prepare content for an extension of the Museum’s permanent gallery to include women’s football based on the Chris Ungar collection. Jean has curated and written exhibitions before. In 2016, she helped the museum to obtain funding for Memories of 1966, and in 2014 Jean co-curated The Road to Rio: History of the World Cup in 24 Objects.
Finally, we will explore the possibilities and funding opportunities for a publication. Jean has won several previous bids and written about women’s football in 60 countries, publishing 3 monographs and several articles on the topic. She has also worked extensively on object-based research with archivists across a range of collections including the Fashion and Textile Institute, New York and the National Sporting Library, Middleburg.