ENGLAND – Anyone who wants to investigate just how London 2012 ticket sales were set up and run (or other mysteries of the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games) will have their chance: Blighty’s National Archives has agreed to house and publish all the digital records arising from the Games. Unfortunately, in many cases outsiders will have to wait 15 years to have a look.
There had been some grumbling before the Games opened over the sale and resale of tickets by the competition’s coordinators. The committee was forced to pull its ticket trading website offline in January after it was hampered by glitches. The site was partially reanimated later that month.
The National Archives – the government’s official records vault – has now persuaded the British Olympic Association (BOA), the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hand over about 5TB of internal correspondence, emails, bid materials and other data detailing London’s Games.
The files, which would run for roughly 50km if they were printed out, will be transferred to The National Archives’ digital repository next year, but they’ll stay closed for up to 15 years.
While The National Archives get the data on the bid process, planning and delivery of the Olympics, the British Film Institute National Archive will get audio and video material of the Games.
“We are proud to preserve the record from the third London games, as we did for 1908 and 1948,” Oliver Morley, chief exec and Keeper of The National Archives, said in a canned statement.
“We’re thrilled that, for the first time, we will be able to show the whole picture of how the games were delivered – from organising committee to government – with an innovative digital Olympic archive for future historians, researchers and host cities to draw inspiration from.”
The archives will also gather up social networking messages and websites related to the Games, including london2012.com and getaheadofthegames.com, which will be available once they’ve been slotted into the UK Government Web Archive.