The records mainly comprise minute books but also include some early scorebooks and a small number of other items. The lack of financial records is to some extent supplied, for the period from 1895, from minutes of the finance and finance and general purposes committee.
The governing body of the club was the committee. Some difficulty in description is caused by the formation of committees for various aspects of the club's activities. These are normally called committees, but occasionally sub-committees, and the committee itself is sometimes referred to as the general committee. The appointment of a match committee seems, from at least 1876, to have been made at the first committee meeting following the AGM, and at the 14 May 1879 committee meeting, the match committee was appointed, as was 'a sub-committee to frame regulations for the ground, pavilion, ground bowlers, ground boys and generally to supervise the arrangements of the ground'.
There was also at this date a sub-committee for members' tickets. Minutes, some signed, of the match, ground and finance committees, 1882-1890, are found in the rough minute book (-/7/9); signed minutes, 1890-1895, are in -/6/1 and thereafter in separate series (finance -/2/-, match -/3/- and ground -/4/-).
The series of score books covers 1856-1885 with considerable gaps. Books between that date and the Second World War are believed not to survive.
A detailed summary of the contents is below:
2042/1/ MINUTES OF COMMITTEE, ANNUAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEETINGS 1845-1898 The minute books contain many entries relating to routine administration of the club: election of members, finance, catering, etc. They also contain many entries relating to the cricket itself, including expressions of opinion on matters of the general organisation of county cricket. The use of The Oval for association and rugby football, cycling, athletics and other sports and the involvement of the club in Kennington life are also recorded. The entries listed below are given as examples of the range of content of the volumes.
2042/2/ FINANCE, FROM 1959 FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES, COMMITTEE 1895-1964
Minutes of this committee, 1890-1896, are included in -/6/1 below. Minutes include reports on balances and lists of accounts recommended for payment. The latter are a useful record of expenditure in the absence of ledgers.
2042/3/ MATCH, FROM 1910 CRICKET, COMMITTEE 1895-1960
Minutes of this committee, 1890-1896, are included in -/6/1 below. Minutes include arrangement of matches, and organisation of championship, engagement of players and some team lists (in -/3/1).
2042/4/ GROUND COMMITTEE 1895-1958
Minutes of this committee, 1890-1896, are included in -/6/1 below. Minutes include state of pitch and outfield, pavilion and other buildings, ground staff, publicity and broadcasting.
2042/5/ PAVILION SUB-COMMITTEE AND HOUSE COMMITTEE 1896-1962
The Pavilion sub-committee was originally set up to superintend extensions and alterations to the pavilion, although for a time it was responsible for the running of the pavilion, bar etc.
2042/6/ OTHER COMMITTEES 1890-1965
2042/7/ PRINTED AND ROUGH MINUTE BOOKS, AGENDA BOOKS, ETC 1907-1966
For committee agenda book, 1897-1902, see 2074/-.
2042/8/ SCORE BOOKS 1856-1890
Score books are almost identical with present-day score books, recording the batsmen's scores, run by run, and the bowling, ball by ball. Some of the books contain many loose pages, and it is probable that many of the pages relating to years other than those covered by the majority of the book have strayed from other books. Many of these loose pages do not identify the date of the match or the opposing team and extended research would be needed to identify many of these matches. The books include Surrey home and some away matches, including county matches and club and ground matches, and also include other matches played at The Oval, eg. Gentlemen of Surrey and Sussex v Gentlemen of England (10-11 Jul 1856, with the return match at Lords, 24 and 25 Jul); Married of England v Single of England (9 Aug 1858); Gentlemen of the North v Gentlemen of the South (15 Jul 1858). Later volumes include Australian tour matches (the 1878 tour in -/8/11, Surrey v Australians, 3 Jun; Players of England v Australians, 2-4 Sep; the 1884 tour in -/8/12, Surrey v Australians, 19-21 May; Gentlemen of England v Australians, 26-28 Jun; Players of England v Australians, 31 Jul, 1-2 Aug; England v Australia, 11-13 Aug) but do not include either the 1880 first test match in England or the 1882 'Ashes' test. The score book including the 1880 test match score passed out of the club's custody at some date, and was refused when offered for sale to the club (see 2042/2/5 p156). It has however since been acquired and is now retained at The Oval.
2042/9/ OTHER RECORDS 1927-1967