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A Collection-level Description for the Records of the Amateur Athletic Association

Reference: GB 0150 AAA
Title: Records of the Amateur Athletic Association
Dates of Creation: 1880-1991
Held at: University of Birmingham Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections
Extent: 10 linear metres
Name of Creator: The Amateur Athletic Association
Level of Description: fonds
Language of Material: eng
Published by: University of Birmingham Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections

Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections, Muirhead Tower (LG floor), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
Tel 0121 414 5839; Fax 0121 471 4691

Administrative/Biographical History

The Amateur Athletic Association of England (AAA) is the descendent of the Amateur Athletic Association which was formed in the last century to govern athletics in England. Its constituent members are the Athletic Clubs, Counties and Areas within England. The Association has run the AAAs Championships for over one hundred years, the oldest of all such meetings. It also organises and prepares England International Teams annually and the Team for the Commonwealth Games every four years. The Association is responsible for providing the structure for athletics within England not only for Track and Field but also Cross Country , Road and Fell Running. It holds Championships for these annually. In addition the Association organises various grass roots activities including a Standards Scheme, and an Awards Scheme, both of which are aimed to encourage sport and health in youngsters by involving them in the various disciplines of Athletics. The Association's Clubs, Counties and Areas are the life blood of the sport, providing Officials, Coaches Administrators and of course many great Athletes. At the Commonwealth Games every four years England brings back a host of medals, providing the backbone of the Track and Field program with Australia, Canada and South Africa. The Association works with UK Athletics in all areas of the sport and provides over eighty per cent of the UKs international athletes.

The Amateur Athletic Association had a growing preoccupation with advertising and sponsership deals, television contracts and the increasing problem of drug use to enhance performance and the need for effective drop test procedures. The Association debated and finally accepted the concept of a single governing body for athletics in the United Kingdom.

Reference: Amateur Athletic Association of England, The Association - An Introduction to England Athletics (

Reference: Steve Hewett, Research Libraries Bulletin (The University of Birmingham, No 6, 1998).

Scope and Content

Initial Deposit: Committee minutes: Athletes Advisory, 1957-1961; Championships, 1931-1972; Coaching, 1947-1966; County Association Sub-Committee, 1928-1935; Development, 1944-1968; Exhibitions Sub-Committee, 1959-1960; Finance, 1929-1936; Finance and Administration, 1937-1957; Finances and General Purposes, 1957-1969; Fixtures and Selection, 1952-1974; General, 1880-1949; General Olympic Committee, 1923-1932; General Purposes, 1926-1930; Handicapping Board, 1908-1920; Lectures Sub-Committee, 1933-1946; National League Management, 1969-1973; Organisation, 1958-1965; Organisation and Development, 1967-1972; Physical Fitness, 1938-1939; Publications, 1927-1964; Rules Revision and Records, 1959-1972; Schools Consultative, 1949-1966; Special Olympics, 1911-1923. Other papers include Conference Reports, 1892-1896; balance sheet and accounts, 1888-1978; Annual General Meeting minutes, 1936-1958; walking records, 1870-1935.

Later deposit: Relates to the activities of the former Association, 1959-1991. The core of the collection is a set of minutes of the General Committee, 1970-1991. The collection also includes Committee Minutes: Finance and General Purposes, 1970-1989; Promotions (Championships), 1972-1985; Championship Promotions, 1985-1989; Road Race Advisory, 1985-1986; Rules, Revisions and Records, 1973-1986; Officials', 1975-1986; Development, 1985-1987; Fixtures and Selections, 1973-1979; Schools Consultation, 1966-1986; Facilities, 1979; Annual General Meetings, 1955-1991.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was acquired in two deposits in 1988 and 1998.


Further deposits are not expected.

Access Conditions

Open. Access to all registered researchers.


Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Language of Material


Further Information

Finding Aids

A paper catalogue to file and item level is available in the Special Collections Department and at the National Register of Archives in London.

Related Units of Description

University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department holds many other collections relating to sport, including both private and corporate collections. These include papers of the regional divisions of the Amateur Athletic Association. Papers of individuals include Harold Abrahams, who served on the General Committee of the Amateur Athletic Association.