Online Archive

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Sat31March1928
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Re: Online Archive

Post by Sat31March1928 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:33 am

bobby s wrote:1) Have we decided on a default format?

2) Are we starting with the period 1890-1939 first?

If I can see a default format, I'll amend my spreadsheet to suit.
I've got a few suggestions based on what I've learned over the past 15 years or so. However I'd say wait and see what I suggest, somethings you might want to reject.

The data split into the following sections

Clubs
related to each team the 'manager list' with start and end dates
the 'venue list' with start and end dates ,city, country

Games
Uniquely identified by
the 'date' in format CCYYMMDD ,
the 'home' or 'away' team
a sequence number to cater for 2 or more games played on a single day

then extra details about the competition, round etc though this doesnt have to be defined in the details of the Team Players per match

Each 'game' would produce 2 entries in the 'Team Players per match' file
1 for the 'home' team file
1 for the 'away' team file

This for Rangers and Hearts first league game

From a Rangers Perspective
In their file

1890 08 16 Heart Of Midlothian L1 H 5 2 Half Time 1-2 etc .......

In the Hearts file it appears 'reversed'

1890 08 16 Rangers L1 A 2 5 Half Time 2-1 etc .......

Master Players List
Each player uniquely Identified. John Lister's disc would be a great starting point if we can get permission to use it. Each player should ultimately be uniquely identified.

Master Players per team per season List
Each unique player assigned to a taem and the seasons (and or start end dates) they were there with the various 'shortened' versions of their names for matching to the 'Team Players per match'

so 'Joseph Henry Baker' '1957-58' 'Hibernian' can be matched against an entry of 'Baker' playing for Hibernain in 1957-58. Though for later seasons it might have to be 'Baker J' to distinguish from 'Gerry Baker'


Team Players per match
For each match the players who played. Originally I just used a single 'cell' per player with substitutes names and times in brackets
However I now record shown in bold. The additional columns are things we might like to add.

Even though substitues wern't generally allowed until the mid 1960s. They did appear in the odd game prior to that. Using the same format for all the years does make it easier to load in.

Name of player 1 <-- as recorded in the source
Unique name of player 1 <-- the unique name for that player. I can add this in automatically in most cases once we have a file of 'unique player names against team and season'
Name of Club of player 1 <-- Possibly Overkill but it caters for 'select teams' , guest players from other clubs etc
Name of substitute for player 1
Unique Name of substitute for player 1
Name of Club of substitute for player 1
Time of substitute for player 1 if known

Name of player 2
Unique name of player 2
Name of Club of player 2
Name of substitute for player 2
Unique Name of substitute for player 2
Name of Club of substitute for player 2
Time of substitute for player 2

Name of player 3
Unique name of player 3
Name of Club of player 3
Name of substitute for player 3
Unique Name of substitute for player 3
Name of Club of substitute for player 3
Time of substitute for player 3

etc

Where a player is know to have come on a as a sub but not know who for I record them as substitute 1

Players not used are recorded as unused subs

I'll post up some examples of the different files and how we can use each file to enhance the data in an other set of data.
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

Sat31March1928
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Re: Online Archive

Post by Sat31March1928 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:50 am

scottish wrote:
Sat31March1928 wrote:
I just spent 40 minutes posting a big long reply and hit 'save' rather than 'submit' then trying to get it back I lost it altogether. I'll put together a few suggestions of the different file layouts and why they are in that format and post them up over the weekend.
Isn't it in your drafts in your user control panel?
Yes found it and posted part of it. I'll expand it tonight.
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

Sat31March1928
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Re: Online Archive

Post by Sat31March1928 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:54 am

soccerhistory wrote:I would strongly urge that sufficient time is taken to achieve a high level of accuracy on this project rather than rush into it and try to complete the data in the quickest possible time. I have been researching newspapers for line-ups, etc for over 30 years and can assure you that its not just a simple a matter of reading through volumes of a single regional/national newspaper such as the Herald. Unless there is a good local weekly (eg Falkirk Herald) I like to look at at least two sources and then check the discrepancies before I am happy with the outcome.

........
Also I suggest we look at the format of the files I'll post up as a starting point for discussuion what the format should be. Then look at agreeing the different sets of common
'reference data'

e.g. what abbreviations to use
Unique Club names etc
How we 'name' reformed Clubs.
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

John Meffen

Re: Online Archive

Post by John Meffen » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:47 pm

We don't have to go that far yet! We are, as I understand simply doing the top league of Scotland pre WWII, we just need to agree a format, then we can get down to an olive oil soaked man wrestle over whether or not airdrie are clydebank, or clydebank were really clydebank II, or whether renton's first five games in the league are renton's or hamilton's!!!

calm down dear it's only a forum!

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Scottish » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:12 am

Rather than make several posts in response to various people I’ll try to answer some points raised here.

First, remiss of me not to mention Steve Emms & Richard Wells 1890-1939 players appearances volume. My apologies to Steve. This is an invaluable source work for the pre-war period

*******************

To soccerhistory
I’m not sure anyone is contemplating doing something “in the quickest possible time.” We are already decades behind England and some other leagues. Obviously the closer the source to the team in question the better but what the Herald archive and The Scotsman on London Hearts offers is worldwide access to those who don’t live close to libraries which keep archive material. In any case, as you know, the quality of archiving varies dramatically. Microfiche, for instance, is notoriously unreliable. In some cases there won’t be two or more sources available. But most taking part in this will be familiar with the potential pitfalls. In any case a digital archive can be amended and updated instantly, unlike print.

I’m not sure why you say you’d only accept The Herald for Glasgow teams. Or are you specifically referring to WW2? As a general rule I wouldn’t class line-ups, scorers etc in The Herald to be any less unreliable than elsewhere. In the end anything less than the team-sheets submitted to the SFL is a secondary source of some kind.

A good point on copytaking. In addition to mishearing names there’s also the question of spelling. Dickson/Dixon, Gardiner/Gardner and the whole hideous business of Mac & Mc. Another problem, particularly in the early days, is the family nature of some teams – especially the smaller sides. It’s not unusual to find D Smith & J Smith listed as such when both play but at other times just ‘Smith.’

Now if D Smith spent his entire career as a full-back and J Smith as a centre-forward and ‘Smith’ is down as a number nine then I wouldn’t call it a ‘guess’ to say ‘Smith’ in this instance is J Smith. That’s why I maintain that in the instance I cite of Sam Clemie for East Stirling that if Clemie + “Newman” = five goalkeeping appearances for Aug/Sep 1932 then “Newman” is Clemie.

That, IMHO, is a different matter from line-ups not being found at all. I agree entirely. If they’re not there then they’re not there. Like Alan, I’m somewhat intrigued by this. I’ve had a look through the books I have here and I can only find one which has complete line-ups for every match played by the club in question prior to 1900. I don’t want to name the book because I have no reason to believe that the author hasn’t compiled the figures diligently and honestly and that the local library and local paper he used provided all the information. All the other books which feature clubs in existence before 1900 have at least one and usually several line-ups missing (sixteen in my own case, unfortunately).

Any more information on this would be appreciated, I am sure, by all.

On goalscorers, even the one book with all the line-ups has missing scorers and, yes, this is impossible to be 100% accurate about. Even in these days with players names emblazoned on their shirts, of slo-mo replays and adjudication panels there are still disputes relating to goals. So not surprising to find it more frequently in the past. However as time progresses we go beyond the ‘scrimmages’ of the 19th century and things become more accurate. Yes, numbers on shirts are post-war. Scotland first wore them in 1944.

Regarding the accuracy of ‘Athletic News’ yes there are instances where things don’t add up. But the same could be said of ‘Rothmans’ or Soccerbase today. It is still a useful guide to have. I must say I’m not surprised by your reference to Breedon (anyone wanting a football history book riddled with errors should check out ‘The European Cup” (1980) by Anton Rippon).

I don’t think there is any problem in using The Herald and the Athletic News, provided a ‘health warning’ is given. As should of course be the case with any historical and/or statistical material.

*****************************

To Alan Brown
IIRC the AFS talked about this as far back as the early 1980s, before John Weir’s Scottish Cup book. AFAIK they did publish a four-volume league results & tables set and also the League Cup including the wartime Southern League Cup. Seasonal compilations of appearances and goals also appeared in the AFS annual for 1890-91 but I’m not sure for how long they continued (if at all) after that.

The Robert McCutcheon material appeared in the IFFHS magazine No 19, Jan-Mar 1992, in the same format as your own, post-1900 articles in later editions. So nothing match-by-match.

I’m not sure when the AN started issuing Scottish figures. The earliest I have is season 1911-12.

*******

To Sat31

Could you provide a template we could all use?

To Sat31/John Meffen

In the pre-war period the problem of ‘reformed’ clubs isn’t so bad. I always describe the Clydebank of this era as Clydebank (1914-31) to distinguish them from their successors. The Renton/Hamilton thing doesn’t apply for Div One only. Unless anyone has a problem with accepting the Dumbarton FC of the 20th century as the same club as the 19th century then it isn’t really an issue pre-war.

*****
To Gogsy 1968

For reasons lost in the mists of time I have complete stats for Albion Rovers 1921-22, almost all of 1920-21 and some of 1922-23 so if you need anything for those seasons then get in touch.

*****
To Skyline Drifter

Do you have anything on QoS 1933-38? I don’t want to make a start on it if any of the material already exists.

Alan Brown
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Re: Online Archive

Post by Alan Brown » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:41 am

Does anyone have contact details for the Airdrie historian John Henderson?

Alan

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Scottish » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:53 am

Sat31March1928 wrote:
Master Players List
Each player uniquely Identified. John Lister's disc would be a great starting point if we can get permission to use it. Each player should ultimately be uniquely identified.
I knew I'd missed something in my long post last night and this was it. John Litster himself mentioned the difficulties in collaboration when he issued the first edition of his (post-war) disk. "We have not sought to obtain the records of club "experts", each of whom has the most accurate version of their respective club's records. A number of these experts would have willingly assisted, had they asked; others would have declined, and for the sake of uniformity of approach, it was decided to approach no-one. If any of the statistics are contradicted by a club expert then the information provided by that person should be preferred."

He goes on to list four pages or so of sources and acknowledgments.

I think we should adopt a similar approach to the Litster pre-war disk. Undoubtedly it is a very useful reference point and forms with the Steve Emms book the two best sources for individual players that are currently available. But both are very different from what we have in mind here which is the creation of a match-by-match, club-by-club, season-by-season account of the top division from 1890-1939.

On this topic, does anyone know what has happened to the proposed second edition of the pre-war disk? According to the original this was supposed to be available 'mid-to-late 2009.'

This was supposed to contain previously unpublished stats and a full list of sources whereas the first was the reproduction of the registration records of the SFA from 1893 onwards (The SFL also have registration data but for some strange reason that starts from 1897).

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Alan Brown » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:01 pm

Alan Brown wrote:does anyone know what has happened to the proposed second edition of the pre-war disk? According to the original this was supposed to be available 'mid-to-late 2009.'
That's a good point David. It would be a nightmare if we reached the end of our research only to discover that John Litster has already done the
same research!

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Re: Online Archive

Post by BMCCOLL » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:51 pm

I've suggested to Alan that I could hold the completed files for viewing until Davy can finalise the format we're gong to use, and he agrees. I can upload them to my site and, using an encrpted file name, all who are working on the project can see how work is progressing. If you email the files to my yahoo account via the http://scottish-football-historical-archive.com site I'll upload them to the site host and email all involved what the address is.
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Steve Emms » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:00 pm

To answer Alan Brown's question, the AFS did talk about producing a complete Scottish League record, but ultimately nothing came of it - I got involved in producing Scottish who's whos on the effective demise of the AFS, but couldn't get hold of any information which may already have been obtained by them (thanks for the kind comments on the books, by the way).

I can't add anything with regard to individual line-ups, but have continued to research the players' careers (eg at non-league level) and also birth & death records - which has helped to identify duplications, etc. I'd be more than happy to help out with any information of this type.

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Re: Online Archive

Post by markbfc » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:04 am

soccerhistory wrote:I would strongly urge that sufficient time is taken to achieve a high level of accuracy on this project rather than rush into it and try to complete the data in the quickest possible time. I have been researching newspapers for line-ups, etc for over 30 years and can assure you that its not just a simple a matter of reading through volumes of a single regional/national newspaper such as the Herald. Unless there is a good local weekly (eg Falkirk Herald) I like to look at at least two sources and then check the discrepancies before I am happy with the outcome.

It is also the case that the existing published sources have varying degrees of accuracy: I know of at least one Breedon book (an English club) which is notorious for its errors. In general I research my own data for pre-war Scottish players for the stats that accompany the obituaries in Soccer History. I am a considerable way through assembling the line-ups for all WW2 games - I am publishing the appearances and goals on a season-by-season basis and will include the Southern League for 1941-42 in the issue that I am just about to complete. I would never use the Herald unless it was for a Glasgow team (in any case there is virtually no football coverage during WW2). I would use, for example, the Paisley Daily Express for St Mirren, Falkirk Herald for East Stirlingshire, etc, etc. If there are missing pre-war line-ups for midweek games these are usually in the Evening Citizen or the Evening Times for games with an afternoon kick off and in the Daily Record for matches with an evening kick off. Where copies of the Citizen football paper exist (not all the Saturday football editions are in the volumes in Colindale) this is often much better than the the Evening Times (with the Evening News often quite poor). Midweek games need particular attention as the teams are often not as published before the match due to players being delayed by work commitments, etc.

Some other problems to look out for: The football specials and Sundays often contain errors which are clearly a result of the copytaker not hearing what has been rung over from the ground - so these often need double checking (eg 'Hutton' may suddenly become 'Sutton', then there are the problems if you have a 'Stevenson' and a 'Stephenson' in the same squad, for example). You may also have to accept that at least some of the line-ups from the 1890s may just never be found. It is better to admit this than to 'guess' the line-up as I believe has happened with some of the earlier complete record type books. Goalscorers are another issue altogether. Players in Scotland did not wear numbers on their shirts pre-1939 (and I suspect not until at least 1946 as wartime pictures clearly show the shirts as unnumbered) and therefore unless the reporter knew the players well mistakes would occur. Then there is always the issue as to what is an own goal and what is not. Finally, I would not trust the stats in the likes of the Athletic News annuals for accuracy - the figures for appearances don't always even add up to the required amount of 11 x number of games played.
Completely agree with this post. Better to have a slow burner of a project that increases the accuracy of the information within.

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Scottish » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:24 pm

BMCCOLL wrote:I've suggested to Alan that I could hold the completed files for viewing until Davy can finalise the format we're gong to use, and he agrees. I can upload them to my site and, using an encrpted file name, all who are working on the project can see how work is progressing. If you email the files to my yahoo account via the http://scottish-football-historical-archive.com site I'll upload them to the site host and email all involved what the address is.
That's a good idea. It allows only those working on the project access to completed work. This topic here can be kept for questions, answers, ideas, information requests etc, thus maintaining an open flow of information without prejudicing anyone's work. It also means that anyone coming late to the project can find out about it and start contributing.

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Scottish » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:27 pm

Alan Brown wrote:
That's a good point David. It would be a nightmare if we reached the end of our research only to discover that John Litster has already done the
same research!
I don't think he is, Alan. According to the notes that accompanied the pre-war disk it looks like his intention was to publish something similar to the post-war one. An updated disk on those lines would be a further reference point to add to Steve Emms and pre-war annuals.

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Alan Brown » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:35 pm

We should define what is classed as 'completed' work. For the moment until Davy lets us have a template, we may all be working with different
formats for the data. I think the following details should be included in any research:

match number, date, opponents, half time, result, goalscorers, attendance, line-up and referees (name and area). There could also be a field
for any relevant comment, such as if a match was played at a neutral venue etc. It would be a good idea to include Scottish Cup matches as well
for completeness. The appearances and goals will need to be tallied up, and first names of players added.

For the 30 seasons between 1890-1920, I would say a 'season by season' format would be better instead of 'club by club'. This would give the stats
more completeness, and would mean that we can tick those seasons off and 'forget' about them.

Alan

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Re: Online Archive

Post by Scottish » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:32 pm

I'd also add league position after each game (London Hearts has these and are more accurate than papers which often didn't take goal average into account until crucial points of the season).

In the 'relevant comment' or Notes (as I put it in my files) I include info (where available) such as record attendances, missed or saved penalties (both teams) own goals scored by team being researched, injuries which reduced either or both sides to ten men for substantial periods and 'contradictory' evidence, citing sources.

Regarding numbering, I suggest separate numbering for Scottish Cup ties as well as including the round. Otherwise we get into the St Johnstone/Raith Rovers kind of records where it becomes more difficult to extract specific league details. We also end up with different totals for each club for each season. I'd also add a number where a club receives a bye, as was common in the 1930s, so that for example a third round bye becomes match number three for that season and the word 'bye' is inserted alongside the date when the bulk of the ties for that round were played.

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