Whether your ancestor was in the Olympics or not, it is hoped that this series of articles which first appeared in the Genealogist’s Magazine will give you an insight into some of the sources we hold in the library to help you trace sporting forbears. If you have any relevant books on sportspeople that you would like to donate to our collection they would be gratefully received.
Tim Lawrence, Head of Library Services
A good overview of the story of British athletics is provided in the Official Centenary History of the Amateur Athletics Association [PR/SPO]. This lists all AAA champions at Senior, Junior and Youth levels since its foundation in 1880. For athletes from the later 20th century we hold works such as the 1989 edition of Who’s who in British athletics [SoG shelf mark Winter Palace PR/SPO] and Athletics 2003 : the international track & field annual [ SoG shelf mark Winter Palace PR/SPO]
There are also histories of individual athletics clubs such as the City of Hull Athletic Club (incorporating Hull Harriers) 1889-1989: the story so far [SoG shelf mark YK/PER: Hull College Local Archives History Unit reprint no. 16]
The library holds a number of athletes’ biographies such as The great Joe Darby: champion all-round spring jumper of the world [ SoG shelf mark Family history tracts, vol. 247].