Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Research Update - the Ken Dagnall Archive

One of the biggest challenges for management history researchers in general can be the location of archives, both in terms of archives generated by individuals and organizations. Football researchers are blessed with some excellent resources held by bodies such as the FA and FIFA, but collections pertaining to individuals, which can often give access to another view of an organization or event are more unusual.

One such holding we have encountered during our research on the 1966 World Cup has been the Ken Dagnall collection, held by the Bolton Library and Museum Services. Dagnall, who died in 1995, was an official in the Football League between 1954 and 1968, with the highlights of his career being referee in two world cup matches in 1966 as well as the 1967 FA Cup Final.

Dagnall collected a wide variety of documentation and memorabilia during his career, building up an amazing insight into his life as a referee.  There is an interesting collection of match reports, featuring sending offs of characters such as Billy Bremner, as well as more unusual issues such as delayed kick-offs and linesmen turning up at the wrong matches. There is a considerable collection of materials built up from the 1966 World Cup, including telegrams of support, copies of theRadio Times and relevant newspaper supplements, and even copies of brochures such as multilingual information documents prepared by the General Post Office on telephone and post services in Britain.

Many of these ephemeral documents have not survived in other ways, and Dagnall's collection of these documents as mementoes of his own involvement in the tournament has helped us as researchers understand better how the media and government agencies in the UK both supported and reacted to the tournament.  In trying to preserve his own memory of his career, Dagnall has helped to preserve the memory of the biggest soccer tournament ever held in the UK, and this serves as a reminder that management history is not just something which emerges from organizational memory, but individual memory as well.

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