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The Arsenal Anniversary Files: what’s happening now.

We’re now in the process of doing major overhauls and checking of the 5000+ entries that make up the Arsenal Anniversary Files.

So although some new stories appear each week, much of the work is of the background variety in providing links, checking sources and so on.

Quite regularly now whole sections of the Anniversary File are being updated in one go, and when this happens I’m now adding a note of the date, of this overhaul near the top of the month’s file, as well as changing the format of the month by month files.  For example if you take a look at November  you will see a change in the order of things, and a note that it was updated today.  About 20 new links were added and three new entries.

If you happen to find an error at any time please do write to me at Tony.Attwood@aisa.org, letting me know the details, and if at all possible your source of information.

To give an idea of just how complex this can all become, here’s one simple story that happened last week.

I was checking some details of the matches between Woolwich Arsenal and other London clubs, and came across a reference book that cited one of these games.  My records showed a completely different date, so I went checking and found that yes, when this file had originally been created, we had got the date wrong.  We had since corrected it, but this other reference book (I won’t mention it by name) had then presumably copied the date from the original file, and so the error was extended.

This is why I find the emails that say, “This date is wrong, I think you’ll find it is…” not so helpful.  I might well have written it down wrongly, but sometimes it is not me – it is another source that is wrong.  That’s why knowing the sources is helpful, if you are correcting something to help us work out which source is right.

As a bit of guidance for this process I have started to add in a few places details of where other reference works have different dates from the ones quoted here.  But this is difficult to track sometimes, especially with the dates of transfers – what date are we to put?  A player might agree to join Arsenal and have all the paperwork completed one week, but then club hold back the announcement for another week.  Registration of the player with the League, the signing of the agreement with the club Arsenal is buying from, and the signing of the contract with the player can all be on different dates.

However a new book is also in preparation which selects out some of the very most important moments in the history of the club, with explanations as to why they were so important, and I’ll be writing more about that shortly.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this rather large endeavour – I hope you are finding it useful.   Please do get in touch if you have anything you would like to add – or correct!

Tony Attwood

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