Welcome to the Ipswich Town Football Archive Project web pages.

Here you will find out more about the project, information about the archive and the outcomes of research into the Club and its heritage.

Since its launch on 18 August 2012 at the home game against Blackburn Rovers, and subsequent ‘call for contributions’ from supporters in September the Ipswich Town Football Archive project has made outstanding progress.

Football plays a significant part of the lived experience of many people. This goes beyond what happens on the pitch to impact on the social and cultural lives and wellbeing of individuals and communities. It forms and maintains community bonds and provides shared memories and experiences. It provides a rationale and common language for lifelong friendships and associations.

Much of the heritage of football, and its impact on people and communities is intangible. It sits in the memories and stories of the people who engaged with it, whether as participants, supporters or those who have been affected by those stories and narratives. Where the heritage is tangible it is often ephemeral - purposely designed to last for only a short time whether as match programmes, banners, tickets, press cuttings or other memorabilia. Whilst often collected by individuals they are rarely available to the general supporter and certainly not in ways that actively encourage engagement and learning. The Ipswich Town Football Archive Project has addressed this in a specific and unique context by cataloguing and developing a curation plan for the Town's extensive archive of football memorabilia and using this as the basis for a range of integrated local activities that promote learning and participation delivered by the ITFC Charitable Trust.

The project, which has been generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has catalogued and will use the Club's unique collection of football artefacts, programmes, trophies, historic documents, visual images, audio recordings and other memorabilia as a source of inspiration. In particular it will support the ITFC Charitable Trust develop new materials to support its teaching programmes and arange of learning initiatives, particularly in numeracy and literacy where the stories that surround items from the archive offer a strong and exciting motivation to learn. The project is also capturing oral histories on topics and themes thrown up by the archive, researching local history and staging exhibitions from the archive on-line, within the Portman Road stadium and elsewhere.

Overall the project aims to enable local people to explore the links between the development of Ipswich as an urban centre within a predominantly rural county during the 20th century and the inter-related development of the football club from its amateur beginnings in 1878, its progression to professional status in 1936 and its more recent periods of national and international success.

The project is being lead for the ITFC Charitable Trust by Suffolk-based heritage experts Oakmere Solutions Ltd. 

Outlining progress in March 2013 Oakmere Director Dr Peter Funnell said:

“We have catalogued a very wide range of artefacts, including cups, medals and paper documents. Individually and collectively they help tell the story of the Club and its place in the development of Ipswich, Suffolk and beyond.”

Lifelong supporter Russell Pope, a project volunteer said:

“It’s been exciting to see so much of the heritage of the Club and it’s encouraged me to find out more about individual items and the stories they tell. Surprisingly, it’s sometimes the small things, a match ticket or a player contract from the 1930’s that help reveal something which for me as a supporter is new and fascinating.”

The project will run until September 2013. The Ipswich Town Football Archive Project is pleased to acknowledge the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Football Archive Video