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Rugby Football League Archive
Records created by the Rugby Football League in the course of its activities as the governing body for rugby league in Britain and Ireland.

The collection includes central administrative records relating to strategic planning. These include: minute books and correspondence; annual general meeting records; annual reports; and records relating to the Rugby Football League's involvement in the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group. Other administrative records include central financial records; records relating to the RFL's communication with broadcasters such as the BBC and Sky television; and records relating to governance and ensuring that clubs adhere to the RFL's operational rules.

There are also large numbers of records relating to the Rugby Football League's role as a central body involved in organising competitions and tours which include British or Irish rugby league teams and clubs, including Academy (age-grade) rugby organised via professional clubs. Records relating to competitions include: administrative and financial records relating to individual tours and competitions; programmes; promotional records; kit (clothing), trophies and medals; photographs; and scorebooks.

The Rugby Football League is a central representative for rugby league in Britain and Ireland; it has therefore created and collected large numbers of records as part of its relationships with professional UK clubs, rugby league supporters, amateur rugby league organisations, international rugby league clubs and governing bodies, and other sporting bodies such as the Rugby Football Union. Records created and collected as part of these relationships include administrative records such as correspondence, reports, and policies; programmes; Official Guides (year books); club records such as histories and statistics; photographs; menus; commemorative objects; magazines.

Over the years the Rugby Football League has collected commercial publications as sources of information about the sport; these include magazines, journals and manuals on rugby league. Many of these are preserved in the archive and date from the 1940s to the 2000s. There are also some centrally collected press cuttings in the collection.

Since the 1980s the Rugby Football League has accepted donations of personal archive collections from rugby league players, administrators and supporters. These collections range from single item donations such as Albert Rosenfeld's New South Wales cap; to much larger collections such as David Hinchliffe's administrative collection relating to the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group and Dai Jenkins' collection of programmes, photographs, letters and clothing relating to his rugby league career. Within supporter collections there are also a large number of press cutting scrapbooks covering a range of teams, players, countries and themes.
  • RFL/AV

    Archives and Heritage - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1880s-2013
    Records in this section represent the function of managing archives and heritage within the Rugby Football League.

    This section includes collections of material collected by players, supporters and, occassionally, administrators which have been purchased by or donated to the Rugby Football League.

    This section also includes records relating to heritage projects initiated by the Rugby Football League and records which appear to have been retained for heritage reference purposes, for example academic dissertations relating to rugby league.
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  • RFL/CM

    Competitions - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1906-2013
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of organising competitions.

    This section includes records for competitions which the Rugby Football League are directly responsible for organising, examples include the Challenge Cup and tours by the national rugby league team.

    This section also includes records for competitions which the Rugby Football League has a partial responsibility for organising, examples include competitions in which the national rugby league team are participating and tours by other nations to the United Kingdom.

    This section does not include records relating to competitions in which the Rugby Football League has played no organisational role, examples include programmes for domestic competitions outside of the United Kingdom - these can be found in the community relations function with the records of the appropriate international body.

    Photographs have been listed, where possible, by competition. Where the competition is unidentified the photographs have been listed under the League/Championship series. We have endeavoured to ensure accuracy but some discrepancies may exist. Please let us know if you find any errors in this catalogue.
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  • RFL/CP

    Corporate Planning and Administration - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1899-2005
    Records in this section represent the function of corporate planning and its administration within the Rugby Football League.

    This section includes annual reports of the Rugby Football League, minutes of the Rugby Football League Council and Management Committee, Regional Committee Records, Sub Committee Records, records of Annual General Meetings, the Rugby Football League's own records of their involvement with the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, and central administration records which relate to corporate planning in addition to other functions (But which cannot be separated due to their format).
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  • RFL/CR

    Community Relations - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    20th century
    Records in this section represent the Rugby Football League's function of maintaining relations with the wider rugby league community.

    This section includes records relating to United Kingdom rugby league clubs and their associated bodies (including supporters associations), Rugby Football League Year Books, records relating to the UK record Keepers Associated, records relating to the Community Game, records relating to the British Lions Association, records relating to rugby union, and records relating to a number of international and overseas rugby league bodies.

    This section also includes records relating to the Rugby Football League's corporate social responsibility programmes, records relating to honours and awards, and records relating to centrally managed participation and development programmes.
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  • RFL/ET

    Estates and Facilities - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1950s-1960s
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of managing its estates.

    Records primarily relate to the mangement of the Rugby Football League's head office as match grounds and pitches are the responsibility of individual clubs, however there is ordanance survey plans of grounds from numerous pitches in a green tube marked 'Regarding Properties'.

    - File on alterations to the Secretary’s office, overhaul of heating and light, early 1950s

    - File concerning Rugby Football League headquarters building alterations, 1961-2 – at this point the headquarters was in Halifax in Lord Street Chambers.

    - Metal plaque: 'Offices of the Rugby Football League' no date

    - Three polaroid photographs showing the Rugby Football League headquarters; David Oxley; a garden [c1990s]

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  • RFL/FN

    Finance - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1910-1990s
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of managing its finances.

    This section includes cash books, accounts, statistics, documents relating to pay, pension, insurance and tax.

    This section does not include financial records relating to individual competitions or tours where they have previously been kept with other records relating to the organisation of the competition. These financial records have been maintained in their original order with the other competition records.
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  • RFL/GV

    Governance - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1905-c2003
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of governance and enforcement of the organisation's operational rules.

    This section includes tribunal records and records of fines imposed on teams for failing to follow operational rules.
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  • RFL/HR

    Personnel - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1906-2003
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of managing personnel.

    This section includes records relating to the management of players, referees and coaches.
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  • RFL/MD

    Media Relations - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1929-2012
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of managing relations with the media.

    This section includes records relating to correspondence and negotiations with television broadcasters.

    This section also includes records relating to media monitoring such as commercial publications and press cuttings.

    Press cuttings which appear to have been collected only as part of an individual competition, and not systematically as part of a central function, have been arranged with their respective competition.

    Press cuttings which relate to an individual country, but do not appear to have been systematically collected as part of a central function, have been arranged under the community relations function with the records of their respective country or international body.
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  • RFL/MK

    Marketing - Rugby Football League Archive Subfonds

    1971-[-c2000s]
    Records in this section relate to the Rugby Football League's function of marketing the Rugby Football League as an organisation.

    Records relating to the marketing of individual events and competitions have been arranged with their respective event or competition.

    - Marketing report: A Preliminary Report to the Rugby Football League Council August 1971 by John Caine Associates

    - Manuscript document: table detailing teams, newspapers and percentage coverage [c1980s-c1990s]

    - Folder containing two documents from Grey marketing agency regarding marketing for the rugby league 1991

    - Australian Rugby League computer game (for use on Sega Mega Drive) 1994

    - Jonah Lomu Rugby computer game (for use on Playstation) 1997

    - CD-R labelled: "Super League Pro Rugby" DOS game [c1990s-c2000s]

    - Notebook with ballpoint pen and 120 Year Anniversary Celebration booklet

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