Clarets Collected

This Lancashire Archives and Local History project, which involves colleagues from across the county council's Cultural Services and external partners, is bringing together a fan-led Burnley Football Club Archive at Burnley Library.

The Clarets Collection is a wonderful resource for everyone with an interest in the club: with its level of support per head of population Burnley is arguably the prime example of a "Football Town".

Burnley FC is one of the original twelve clubs that founded the Football League in 1888. Since 1882 the ups and downs of the club have been a significant thread in the history of our national game. The Clarets won the FA Cup in 1913-1914 and are one of only three teams to have been champions in all four divisions. In 1987, at its lowest point, the club almost dropped out of the league altogether. A home win of 2-1 over Orient saved them on the last day of the season. Now, with Burnley back in the top-flight, Clarets Collected is helping to collect and preserve the Club’s story, and make it available for everyone to explore, enjoy and celebrate.

The core of the collection arrived at the library in April 2023 – a small group of Burnley fans have generously donated their personal collections of match programmes, fanzines, photographs, memorabilia. This group includes Dave Thomas, author of over 20 books about the club.

The Friends of Lancashire Archives are generously funding an Engagement Officer for two years to catalogue what’s arrived, store it safely and work with fans to grow the collection further.

That’s only the start though. Over the course of the two years the plan is to:

  • Make the collection available to anyone who wants to drop-in at Burnley Library
  • Involve volunteers in what we are doing
  • Develop a new gallery space at the library with a Clarets exhibitions and events programme
  • Explore ways of making the collection available online
  • Offer sessions to schools so that children can learn about the heritage of the club

Plus, on the Saturday of every weekend that Burnley FC have a home game there will be Family Drop-In sessions where alongside the opportunity to explore the Collection there will be a great range of family-friendly activities and special events – see the Burnley Library Events page for what's coming up next.

We will be working with Burnley Football Club in the Community and the National Football Museum, and would be delighted if any individuals or organisations would like to find out more about how to get involved.

Contact us by email or phone 01254 220606 if you want to know more about the project, have items you might want to donate to the Collection, or if you are interested in getting involved yourself as a volunteer.

We are actively recruiting volunteers for this project. If you would like to be a part of it then please follow the link to apply to be a Clarets Collected volunteer.

Clarets collected is also supported by the HM Government Know Your Neighbourhood fund