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Alan Brown
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Online Sources

Post by Alan Brown » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:21 am

Thats an excellent resource at google. If only it had been available 15 years ago, it would have
saved me trawling through all those newspapers at the Mitchell and writing it all by hand!

I have researched the period 1900-1920 (first division) and would be willing to share my
data from this period. Has anyone looked into the idea of setting up an online database for
which we could all contribute the line-ups, scorers etc. for each league match 1890 onwards?

Alan Brown

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Re: Online Sources

Post by BMCCOLL » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:36 am

Great idea. However to avoid duplication, clubs or seasons should ideally be allocated to individuals.
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Scottish » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:29 pm

Sorry, I should have made this clearer. It is Google's newspaper archive which has been updated. You can find the Herald here

As the period 1937-62 was already covered and up to the end of December 1900 was accessible via ATHENS and other sources, essentially this means the years 1901-36 & 1963-89 inclusive are now freely available. Given that the papers itself has a search facility (even if an extremely awkward, clumsy and random one) for the years 1989-date this means the Herald is the first Scottish paper to have - theoretically - its full back catalogue available. I say theoretically because there are still large gaps in the record, even in those years just added. I should also add that the new arrivals have yet to be indexed so a search for 'Rangers' or 'Celtic' specifying the Glasgow Herald prior to 1937 will produce no results. You will have to trawl through the papers yourself, just as you would in a library. Personally, I prefer that method because search engines are unreliable and in Google's archive a search for football can take you to American football and/or rugby.

So two cheers for the Herald. Why two? Because the Scottish press is lagging way behind other countries. It also (see The Scotsman) imposes ludicrously high charges for those areas that are accessible. Also, and to take in the points raised by Alan & Brian I don't think we will be able to build a fully comprehensive statistical history until the Saturday sports papers, the Sundays and the Scottish Referee are digitised, simply because too much Second Division information will be missing from the existing sources.

I don't to mean to pour cold water on the idea because it is an excellent one. I've said before, that every English league club that ever existed has had a 'complete history' style book published yet in Scotland even major clubs like Hearts and Hibs haven't.

Of course thanks to London Hearts and ihibs that information is now available online.

I take on board Brian's point about duplication. So, for the record here are the clubs where I think full pre-war information is already available in print or online or in the process of becoming so:

Aberdeen
Arthurlie
Cambuslang
Celtic
Dumbarton
Dundee
Dundee Hibs/United
Edinburgh City
Kilmarnock
Motherwell
Partick Thistle
Queen's Park
Raith Rovers
Rangers
St Bernard's
St Johnstone

I've left Hamilton & Falkirk off that list as I haven't seen the particular publications so I don't know how extensive they are.

That's an awful lot of clubs missing, ranging from the short-lived one-season wonders like Northern, Thistle and Dundee Wanderers, none of whom should be particularly hard to track down to the likes of St Mirren and Third Lanark who played in all 49 pre-war seasons. In the case of the former the information is all there. They spent only one season out of the top division so there should be no problem in putting it together. Yet no one has. Surprising to say the least.

One final aside, to Alan. If you think it was bad fifteen or so years ago at the Mitchell, consider my plight: I took one train (four stops) two tubes (twenty-plus stops) to get to Colindale to do exactly as you did when writing my first Killie history. But what was even worse was that after I'd done it I discovered that Richard Cairns, John Livingston & Gordon Allison had jointly done the same thing a couple of years beforehand!

John Meffen

Re: Online Sources

Post by John Meffen » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:20 pm

scottish wrote: I've left Hamilton & Falkirk off that list as I haven't seen the particular publications so I don't know how extensive they are.
Michael White's Pre war FFC book only has the fixtures, with occasional line-ups.

For the comprehensive guide to FFC matches I'm afraid you would have to consult my numerous spreadsheets [which are currently undergoing revision to include 2nd, 3rd & other XI matches...don't hold your breath though, I'm a lazy sod] and there are still a lot of trialists etc... :roll:

Anybody need info though feel free to ask, carry a copy on a stik at all times

Alan Brown
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Re: Online Sources

Post by Alan Brown » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:12 pm

Yes a big cheer to the Glasgow Herald for a superb archive and Google for hosting it!

It must have been so frustrating when you discovered that the research on Kilmarnock had already been done David.
Brian was right what he said about duplication of work. A good starting point for any database would be to cover just
the first division. Any second division research pre war would probably need to be taken from local newspapers by
someone who lived locally to that area. I wonder how many members of this forum would be interested in contributing
to such a database?

I have came across most of the books that you mentioned David. Although I wasn't aware of Arthurlie and Cambuslang
being covered. Can you give some details of these please? The Hamilton Accies book has most of the line-ups apart from
the first few seasons of their history, so they can be added to the list. I have researched most of Third Lanark's pre war
matches. There have been a few clubs that have had major research into them but no book published. Examples of these
would be Forfar Athletic (Barry Stevens), Stirling Albion, Airdrie (John Henderson). I don't think Motherwell should be on
the list as the pre war seasons were not covered in full, scorers but no line-ups. Of course had they contacted me, I could
have provided all the stats between 1900-1920!

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Scottish » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:43 am

Absolutely agree about the 1st division. But it should be possible to compile 'complete' club records for those clubs whose 2nd division days were minimal. For example if someone was researching St Mirren it would be remiss to ignore the solitary season they spent outside the top flight between 1890-1939. Falkirk are another - three seasons before election to the 1st and just one in the 2nd thereafter.And it seems from the earlier post that John Meffen is well on top of that.

I take your point about Motherwell. My mistake. Stirling Albion of course don't come into the pre-war equation but there was a book circa 1989 with all results and seasonal totals for goals and appearances, not match by match. Of course it is impossible to extract league only from that. That's also a problem with the St Johnstone, St Bernard's and Raith Rovers books, excellent though they are, in that the seasonal records are in date order and the league info still requires separating from the rest.

I have line-ups for Cambuslang's two league seasons on file. I don't claim them to be 100% accurate. As you'll be only too well aware, different papers often listed different line-ups and scorers. Arthurlie's league days have been compiled on disk by 'insertnamehere.' Let me just check through the Cambuslang file (I haven't looked at it for some time) and I'll post it on the site.

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Scottish » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:21 am

Cambuslang file available for download

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Scottish » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:08 pm

I should have added that of course the Hearts and Hibs sites bring those clubs into the list of 'complete records' too. Naturally, all the clubs mentioned in my earlier post (with the obvious exception of St Bernard's) all have complete post-war records. It would appear from the posts on here that Falkirk, Hamilton & Motherwell also come into this category. All the clubs that joined the league since the establishment of 'Rothmans' should be included in this category too. Meadowbank Thistle/Livingston, Inverness CT, Ross County, Elgin City, Peterhead, Airdrie United, Gretna & Annan Athletic.

Leaving aside arguments about East Stirlingshire/Airdrieonians/Airdrie United, the Clydebank club that joined the league in 1966 should also be a comparably quick club to research.

If I've understood Alan correctly, he has all 1st division info for 1900-1920 plus much of Third Lanark pre-war. This is a massive period, encompassing the growth of that division from ten to twenty-two clubs.

So, if I've understood it correctly, the following information is needed to compile a 'complete record' of the top division. Number before name of club is number of full seasons required.

1890-1900
4 Abercorn 1890-93 + 96-97 -
10 St Mirren 1890-1900
2 Vale of Leven 1890-92
1 Cowlairs 1890-91
3 Renton 1890-94 (including expunged games)
4 Leith Athletic 1891-95
8 Clyde 1891-93 + 94-1900

1920-1939
16 Motherwell 1920-31 & 34-39 (the 'Champions of Scotland' series has 1931-34)
17 Clyde 1920-24 & 26-39
12 Morton 1920-27, 29-33, 37-38
16 Airdrieonians 1920-36
15 Ayr United 1920-25, 28-36, 37-39
19 Hamilton Accies 1920-39
7 Albion Rovers 1920-23, 34-37, 38-39
4 Clydebank (original) 1920-22, 23-24, 25-26
18 St Mirren 1920-35, 36-39
18 Falkirk 1920-35, 36-39
1 Alloa Athletic 1922-23 (+ 39-40?)
10 Cowdenbeath 1924-34 (+39-40?)
5 Dunfermline 1926-28 & 34-37
1 Bo'ness 1927-28
2 Leith Athletic 1930-32
1 East Fife 1930-31
1 East Stirlingshire 1932-33
6 Queen of the South 1933-39
4 Arbroath 1935-39

That's 205 full seasons if I've added up right (ignoring expunged games and uncompleted seasons) or the equivalent of two full club histories from 1900-date to give some idea of the scale. There is also the question as to whether it is best to tackle this on a season-by-season basis or club-by-club. Building an online database will be an even bigger task as much of the existing information on those clubs which do have print records is not available online and would have to be transcribed from books. That brings copyright issues into play.

John Meffen

Re: Online Sources

Post by John Meffen » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:51 pm

scottish wrote:Falkirk are another - three seasons before election to the 1st and just one in the 2nd thereafter.And it seems from the earlier post that John Meffen is well on top of that.
Em, I am still missing three goals, which I don't think I'll ever find. That aside, I didn't do it all on my own, there is a Stirlingshire triumvirate who all share our findings, to the end that a comprehensive guide to ES and King's Park matches/players etc are coming into existence, just need somebody from Alloa.....

John Meffen

Re: Online Sources

Post by John Meffen » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:58 pm

If/when I get the time I could do the entire Bo'ness season relatively simply, Bo'ness Journal one day WLC the next, then check the Falkirk Herald/Falkirk Mail for any gaps/extra info. If/when I get the time!

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Scottish » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:51 pm

John Meffen wrote: Em, I am still missing three goals, which I don't think I'll ever find.
It'll drive you mad but some things just can't be recovered. If they weren't written down in the first place then they're lost forever, irritating as it must be to be so close to a full record.

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Alan Brown » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:42 pm

Thanks for the Cambuslang data David. Last year I used the Herald/Scotsman to compile as much of the stats from
season 1890/91 as possible. I have a few gaps in my line-ups and obviously there are quite a few goalscorers untraced.
That means Abercorn, Cambuslang, Cowlairs, St Mirren, Vale of Leven and Renton have been done for 1890/91.
I have made a start on season 1891/92, but have only Abercorn and Cambuslang researched so far with a few line-ups
and scorers missing. I meant to say I have researched the first division for season 1938/39 so that wouldn't need any
attention.

If an online database was to be created then it would be best to do the research on a club by club basis from 1920 onwards
rather than season by season. This would allow me time to put together all the research that I have done between 1900-1920
and compile it in a club by club format. I could also continue my research into the 1890-1900 period.

All the research I did between 1900-1920 was original and therefore does not infringe copyright.

I think this is the right time to make a start on a large scale project like this, as the resources are now available online.

Alan

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Online Sources

Post by Scottish » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:10 pm

I take your point about original research, Alan. However this inevitably means duplication which to me seems a shame when so much is already out there. As for copyright it never ceases to amaze me just how tangled this can become. I was once in the situation in which MY research, carried out by ME and ME alone, handwritten, then transcribed to electronic typewriter (this was the dark ages of the pre-internet era) was subsequently claimed by the publisher to be HIS copyright (when I used the same material for another book), on the grounds that his daughter did the subsequent transcription to disk.

Now if that's the case then it means the single greatest canon of works in the English language should not be attributable to a Mr W Shakespeare but to some unknown typesetter.

I have never had any problems with my work being used elsewhere provided that:
a) I am asked first
b) A proper acknowledgment is given
c) If for profit (e.g. newspaper article) then payment must be negotiated prior to use.

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Re: Online Sources

Post by cowdenbeather » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:16 pm

I have the Cowdenbeath data for these seasons
So, if I've understood it correctly, the following information is needed to compile a 'complete record' of the top division. Number before name of club is number of full seasons required.

1890-1900
4 Abercorn 1890-93 + 96-97 -
10 St Mirren 1890-1900
2 Vale of Leven 1890-92
1 Cowlairs 1890-91
3 Renton 1890-94 (including expunged games)
4 Leith Athletic 1891-95
8 Clyde 1891-93 + 94-1900



1920-1939
16 Motherwell 1920-31 & 34-39 (the 'Champions of Scotland' series has 1931-34)
17 Clyde 1920-24 & 26-39
12 Morton 1920-27, 29-33, 37-38
16 Airdrieonians 1920-36
15 Ayr United 1920-25, 28-36, 37-39
19 Hamilton Accies 1920-39
7 Albion Rovers 1920-23, 34-37, 38-39
4 Clydebank (original) 1920-22, 23-24, 25-26
18 St Mirren 1920-35, 36-39
18 Falkirk 1920-35, 36-39
1 Alloa Athletic 1922-23 (+ 39-40?)
10 Cowdenbeath 1924-34 (+39-40?)
5 Dunfermline 1926-28 & 34-37

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Re: Online Sources

Post by Alan Brown » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:00 am

Yeah I suppose copyright can be a thorny issue.
To test the Herald archive at Google I am researching Alloa's solitary season in division
one. I am halfway through and have all the data so far, including half times and referees.
I will then go on and do the same for Clydebank's four seasons in the 1920s.

Cowdenbeather would you be willing to share your data if an online resource was set up?

I will post a message in the main forum and see how much interest it generated from members
of the forum.

Alan

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