Lord’s Cricket Ground Archives

June 11th, 2020

The background:

Lords Cricket Ground, generally known as Lord’s, is widely regarded as the ‘Home of Cricket’ and has the World’s oldest sporting museum.  Located in St. John’s Wood, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is home to Middlesex Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the European Cricket Council.

The challenge:

As part of the museum’s archive, Lord’s had kept a copy of ‘Cricket’, one of the first cricket publications, which was printed between 1882 and 1914.  Not widely accessible to the public, Lord’s wanted to permanently display the magazine on the website.  The publication was an annual volume, bound and containing 450-500 pages per volume, roughly equivalent in size to a tabloid newspaper.  Given Pearl Scan’s expertise in handling historical magazines and their specialist expertise in the field of bound & historical material digital conversion – the contract was awarded to them which also involved project planning, dedicated logistics and transportation of the historical material. 

The solution:

Given the unique nature of the magazines, Pearl Scan agreed with Lords to scan one of the annual publications as a cost free proof of concept, allowing both parties to understand the quality of documents and the best image specification, along with how to index and catalogue information in order to relate digitally produced files to the original magazines.  The proof of concept was presented offline and online for viewing and questions. 

After the success of the proof of the concept the project was given the go ahead we immediately arranged secure collection of all documentation via our in house secure courier service.  The collection was made in line with a strict pre-defined schedule, with Pearl Scan supplying secure storage containers.

On arrival we reconciled all documents with our collection note and set about the task of scanning all bound publications with our specialist overhead book scanners.  The process created high resolution digital images, protecting this information for people to view and enjoy for many century’s to come.  In order to ensure an easy point of reference was available for when specific information needed to be found, all editions were indexed with the applicable decade, year, month and week.

Lord’s were delighted that the Project was completed within 1 month, with all originals returned to their rightful place in the ‘Home of Cricket’.  All information was presented on secure encrypted data drives, protecting the copyright and ownership rights of the digital records.