The study of sporting history, once the province of amateur enthusiasts, started to attain academic respectability in the 1980s, and has grown steadily since, in status and scope. One of the issues facing researchers, however, has been that certain national associations and the majority of individual sports clubs have been demonstrably lax in curating their own archives and records. While this failing has been addressed in some quarters, particularly since the establishment of national museums for sports such as cricket, rugby, golf, tennis and football, at club and grassroots level neglect continues to cause concern. Although archival conservation was not part of the project’s remit, researchers working for the Played in Britain series of books for English Heritage (now Historic England) found repeated examples of historic records being destroyed, or stored in unsuitable locations, of records having been lost, stolen or allowed to fall into private hands, of priceless photographs being inappropriately mounted and displayed and of public records, such as ground plans, being discarded. Yet where records have survived, they have offered a rich source of material, not only for the study of sport but for local history, family history and for tapping into wider cultural, sociological and economic narratives.