“Arsenal: The Chronology” needs researchers. Can you help?

My colleagues and I at the Arsenal History Society need some help with our new book “Arsenal: the Chronology”.  The rewards are not great (I’ll be open and say that from the start) but even so, I’m hoping you might want to join in.

I’m currently revising the data that we have for each month, but I want to know of errors.  If you spot one, or a few, or lots, can you write to me (either below in the comments box or at TonyAttwoodofLondon@gmail.com) and tell me the problem.

In return you’ll get your name on the researchers and sources page of the book – and that will happen not just with this first edition but all subsequent editions of the book (of which I hope there will be many).

And I’ll be giving away some free copies of the book.  Now I am going to be a bit vague about this, because I have no idea how many (if any) people will write to me with corrections.  If it is two, I’ll give them both a free copy, if I can use their corrections.  If it is 100, publication costs mean I simply can’t give everyone a copy, so I’ll either do a random draw or give copies to the people who’ve done the most.

Assuming there is any interest I am going to do this on a month by month basis (with at least one free copy of the book for each month, if the response is there) – and today I want to start with (fairly obviously) January.  The January file is on line on this site and has just been updated – and what I am inviting you to do is go through it and see if you spot any howlers.

And indeed if you find anything that you think ought to be in the book for January but which isn’t, please do let me know.

But there are a couple of guidelines in all this.

1.  What’s included are what seem to me as the editor, to be interesting facts.  So, although it is valuable to have a book listing all the games, that’s been done.  This book is more than that.  If the game was notable for a high score, a particular event etc, that’s fine – but the game on its own isn’t enough for inclusion.  Just flip through the January file and you’ll see what I mean.

2.  I’m not worried here about the links that you will find on many of the listings.  The book will just have the dates and the two or three line summary of the event, as it appears in the January file.  I hope you find the articles behind the links interesting, but they are not relevant to this book.

3.  If you find a fact (date or otherwise) that is wrong, please give me any other information if you can.  For example, supposing you want to tell me that David Danskin was not born in 1863 but in 1864, it would be good to have your source of that information, such as a web site, a book or something like that.  Just telling me I am wrong is helpful – I’ll go and check – but frustrating, because if you’ve got more info, it will save time if you can point me to it.

And there is always the point that sometimes different sources give different information, so somehow in each case I have to weigh up the claims of different sources and make a judgement.  Which brings me to…

4.  One of the biggest problems is transfer dates.  In working on this book I’ve become aware that around half of the dates of transfers that we have are quoted differently in different places.  This is because the transfer date could be the date all is agreed, the date the contract is signed, the date the official bodies are notified, the date the press are told…   So if I am a little bit out with a transfer, that is probably the cause.  Quite often I’ve just had to take one of the various dates offered.  Much more to the point, however, is if I meant to write 1984 and wrote 1985 instead.  That does need correcting.

At the moment the book has about 4600 dates in it – by far the biggest collection of dates for Arsenal ever gathered (other, as I’ve suggested, than in books that just list each game).  My plan (providing sales warrant it) is to publish new editions from time to time, correcting errors, adding new facts from history that have been discovered since publication, and of course, adding in notable moments from the time between the publication of each edition.

Copies will, of course, be lodged with the British Library, and other national institutions, and I am anticipating that as with the other books we’ve published it will be sold through Arsenal’s stores, Amazon, and through this site and Untold Arsenal.

Also, when each annual installment of Arsenal’s history that I write for AISA is published, copies go to certain members of the hierarchy of the club, who have expressed an interest, and this will happen here as well.  There are a number of senior figures in the club who really do appreciate the work that we are doing in trying to pull the whole history of the club together.  Indeed that is why Arsenal.com do on occasion republish our articles on their site.

So, there we have it.  If you want to join it, please visit the January page and let me know if you have a correction or addition, and (assuming you want recognition in the book for your contribution) tell me exactly how you would like your name to appear on the Researchers and Sources page.

Tony Attwood


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