Download Albion – it’s on its wayYOU might have heard a word or two about this archive business that we are gradually bringing to life here at The Hawthorns, an online invention that will, ultimately, become the repository of everything Albion, available to anybody, anywhere with an internet connection.
It’s the most ambitious archiving undertaking that any football club has embarked upon, encompassing everything we are, everything we do, everywhere we’ve been and all the things we’ve done. And when we say “WE”, don’t think you’re getting away without making a contribution because, in the fullness of time, we’ll be coming after you as well. More on that in the future.
A lot of the work, certainly over the next 12 months is going to go on in the background, accumulating plenty, processing, creating, starting to get this thing off the ground. We’ll drop out the odd taster and teaser here and there as we go, but there’s much to be done and no time to waste.
What we will be doing over the weeks and months ahead is outlining just what shape this is all going to take, and first up, it’s the club’s stash of memorabilia that’s coming under the microscope.
Many of you will know of – and plenty of you will have seen – the assorted artefacts and baubles, “pots and pans” as Brian Clough used to call them, that decorate both the East and West Stands at The Hawthorns. What you might not know is that secreted away in safe storage, we have plenty of other goodies that we simply do not have space to display and which rarely see the light of day.
You might reckon that’s a real waste and frankly, we’re not arguing. But we’ve never had a dedicated Albion Museum in the past and the idea of creating one now is as impractical as it’s ever been for all the obvious reasons of space and finance.
So we are taking a leaf out of the book of museums across the world and moving out of the physical space and into the virtual one. First off, we are going to photograph every single bit of memorabilia that we have. But we’re not simply going to chuck them in an online gallery where they mean next to nothing, oh no.
We are going to use them to create “The History of the Albion in Countless Objects”, in the mould of what’s going on in the similarly monikered series in Albion News this season.
Each piece tells a part of our story, puts it into a context and by showcasing the memorabilia in a series of short documentaries, we will bring our history to life. You’ll get to see it, you’ll get to see why it matters and hopefully, we’ll all get a better under standing of who we are and where we’ve come from.
And that’s not all. I told you that we’d be coming for you, and here we are. In order to further bolster our collection of memorabilia, eventually we are going to send out an appeal to players, former players, collectors, supporters.
Our aim will be to photograph those items and utilise them online, enabling us to gain access to items that people might never otherwise part with.
That enables us to further tell the story without looking to collect items we cannot display and which, in truth, we have no use for other than their mere possession. They are better off in the hands of the fans, where they can be properly enjoyed. But if we can put them online where we all have access to them, then we can all learn a bit.
Think of it as the Albion Open University, but without the beardy fellas in fair isle pullovers…