Amateur Athletic Association of England, Records of

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records of the Amateur Athletic Association of England (AAA). Comprises an extensive sequence of minutes and meeting papers generated by the broad structure of committees which directed the actions of the AAA; financial records; a small amount of circular correspondence; publications, including an almost complete set from the AAA Championships; and ephemera.

The papers demonstrate the changing nature of athletics during the 20th century. Later papers highlight AAA growing preoccupation with advertising and sponsorship deals, television contracts and the increasing problem of drug use to enhance performance and the need for effective dope testing procedures. Other papers discuss the debate, and final acceptable by the AAA, of the concept of a single governing body for athletics in the UK, which became the ill-fated British Athletics Federation.

Taken as a whole, these records are of interest to those studying amateur sports, especially athletics culture in England between across the late 19th to late 20th centuries. These records cover the vast majority of the Association's years of operation, including the years of both World Wars.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Amateur Athletic Association of England (AAA) is the successor of the Amateur Athletic Association which was formed to govern athletics in England. Its constituent members are the Athletic Clubs, Counties and Areas within England. The Association has run the AAA Championships for over one hundred years, the oldest of all such meetings. It also organises and prepares England International Teams annually and the Team for the Commonwealth Games every four years. The Association is responsible for providing the structure for athletics within England not only for Track and Field but also Cross Country , Road and Fell Running. It holds Championships for these annually. In addition the Association organises various grass roots activities including a Standards Scheme, and an Awards Scheme, both of which are aimed to encourage sport and health in youngsters by involving them in the various disciplines of Athletics. The Association's Clubs, Counties and Areas are the life blood of the sport, providing Officials, Coaches Administrators and of course many great Athletes. At the Commonwealth Games every four years England brings back a host of medals, providing the backbone of the Track and Field programme with Australia, Canada and South Africa. The Association works with UK Athletics in all areas of the sport and provides over eighty per cent of the UK's international athletes.

The Amateur Athletic Association has a growing preoccupation with advertising and sponsorship deals, television contracts and the increasing problem of drug use to enhance performance and the need for effective drop test procedures. The Association debated and finally accepted the concept of a single governing body for athletics in the United Kingdom.

Sources: papers of the AAA; Athletics England website 'An Introduction to English Athletics' accessed 2005 from http://www.englandathletics.co.uk/page2.html; article written by Steve Hewett and included in 'Research Libraries Bulletin', University of Birmingham, No.6, 1998

Arrangement

These papers have been arranged into the following four series:

  • Administrative records
  • Financial records
  • Publications and printed material
  • Miscellaneous

Conditions Governing Access

Access to all registered researchers

Acquisition Information

This collection was acquired in two deposits in 1988 and 1998. A small number of additional items were deposited by John F. S. Northcott of Hatfield [late 1990s]. These items include Annual Reports, 1958-1970; balance sheets, 1959, 1962 and 1963; circular letters; and various issues of AAA Club Newsletters

Other Finding Aids

Please see the full catalogue for further details

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Director of Special Collections (email: special-collections@bham.ac.uk). Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material

Custodial History

This collection was previously in the custody of the National Centre for Athletics Literature (NCAL)

Related Material

Other archive collections, formerly held as part of the National Centre for Athletics Literature (NCAL), are catalogued as collections distinct from this collection. They comprise both institutional archives and collections of personal papers of athletes, athletics administrators, journalists and others associated with the athletics world.

Catalogues of the institutional archives available on the online archive catalogue are as follows:

  • Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1880-1992. Finding No: ATH/AAA
  • English Cross-Country Union: papers, 1911-1989. Finding No: ATH/ECCU
  • Midland Counties Amateur Athletics Association: papers, 1900-1991. Finding No: ATH/MCAAA
  • Midland Counties Cross Country Association: papers, 1898-1985. Finding No: ATH/MCCCA
  • Midland Counties Women's Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1949-[1980s]. Finding No: ATH/MCWAAA
  • Northern Counties Women's Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1933-1989. Finding No: ATH/NCWAAA
  • Northern Cross-Country Association: papers, 1906-1983. Finding No: ATH/NCCA
  • Northern Women's Track and Field League: papers, 1982-1983. Finding No: ATH/NWTFL
  • Southern Counties Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1958-1983. Finding No: ATH/SCAAA
  • Southern Counties Cross-Country Association: papers, 1911-1990. Find No: ATH/SCCCA
  • The Sports Council: papers, [1940s]-2001. Finding No: ATH/SC
  • Women's Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1932-1989. Finding No: ATH/WAAA

Catalogues of personal papers available on the online archive catalogue are as follows:

  • Abrahams, Harold Maurice (1899-1978), athlete, administrator, commentator and journalist: papers, 1902-1989. Finding No: ATH/HA
  • Adam, George Mair (1898-1989), athlete, coach and athletics administrator: papers, 1909-1989. Finding No: ATH/GA
  • Binks, Joseph (Joe) (1874-1966), athlete and athletics commentator: papers, [1920s-1950s]. Finding No: ATH/JB
  • Cardew, Martin H. (b 1927), athlete: papers, 1964-1988. Finding No: ATH/MHC
  • Cullum, Dennis Noel Johnson (1913-1985), athlete and coach: papers, [1930s]-1985. Finding No: ATH/DC
  • Ives, Bert (1890-1975), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, [1920s-1970s]. Finding No: ATH/BI
  • Jewell, John Christopher (1912-2001), athlete and athletics commentator: papers, 1897-2002. Finding No: ATH/JJ
  • Lloyd-Edgley, Ralph: scrapbook, [c 1924]-[c 1931]. Finding No: ATH/RLE
  • MacLean, Duncan (1884-1980), athlete and coach: papers, 1948-1977. Finding No: ATH/DM
  • Monk, Walter Harry (Wal) (1896-after 1965), athlete: papers, 1918-1961. Finding No: ATH/WHM
  • Morgan, Wilf (b 1935), athlete and athletics historian: papers, 1937-2012. Finding No: ATH/WM
  • Newton, Arthur Francis Hamilton (1883-1959), athlete: papers, [c 1904]-[1990s]. Finding No: ATH/AN
  • Payne, Howard (1931-1992), athlete: papers, 1899-[c 1975]. Finding No: ATH/HP
  • Percy, Joe W. (1912-2001), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, 1910-1997. Finding No: ATH/JWP
  • Perry, George (b 1903), athlete: papers, [1920s]-1956. Finding No: ATH/GP
  • Powell, Edgar Robert Leslie (Peter), (fl 1920s-70s), athlete: papers, 1813-1988. Finding No: ATH/ERLP
  • Richards, Wilf (b 1906), athlete and journalist: papers, 1924-[mid 20th century]. Finding No: ATH/WR
  • Roberts, Dave (fl 1930s-1990s), athlete and statistician: papers, [1930s]-1991. Finding No: ATH/DR
  • Simpson, Colin J. (1929-2011), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, 1945-1990. Finding No: ATH/CS
  • Tatham, Wilfrid George (Gus) (1898-1978), athlete: papers, 1908-1960. Finding No: ATH/WGT
  • Thomas, Dr Philip, athletics administrator and coach: papers, [c 1900]-[late 20th century]. Finding No: ATH/PT
  • Vargas, Charles Climaco (1905-1975), athlete: papers, 1921-31. Finding No: ATH/CCV
  • Ward, Leonard H., athletics coach: papers, [mid-20th century]. Finding No: ATH/LW
  • Watman, Melvyn Francis (Mel) (b 1938), athletics journalist and statistician: papers, 1980-1993. Finding No: ATH/MW
  • Wight, Robert M., athletics administrator: papers, [mid-20th century]. Finding No: ATH/RW
  • Winter, Arthur E. H. (d 1990), athlete and athletics commentator: papers, [early 20th century]-1983. Finding No: ATH/AW
  • Yarrow, Squire Stevens (1905-1984), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, 1938-1984. Finding No: ATH/SY