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BNYA was formed with the primary intention of ensuring that information about the sport of sailing is preserved, where sailing is construed in the widest possible sense. It boils down to two main objectives:

  • to identify the existence of any source material or artefacts and
  • to capture people’s knowledge not otherwise documented.

It is a virtual archive in that it does not want to hold archival material (although it will help find homes if needed) but be an on-line resource which points to the sources with a long-term aim to digitise material and deliver it online. Registered Charity status was obtained at the end of last year since when efforts have been made to obtain funding to develop the tools required, so far unsuccessfully.

Nevertheless a number of initiatives have been undertaken using voluntary help.

  • Cataloguing can be undertaken using an on-line interface - the idea is to provide a resource for researchers to find information. If you or your organisation has any material that you are keeping for any reason, full details are available here, but there are three steps to follow:
    1. enter information about you or your organisation (private information need not be published)
    2. enter summary information about your 'collection' or 'collections'
    3. enter details about items in the collection
  • A wiki has been set up to record knowledge - see here (opens in new page). The purpose is not so much to provide a detailed reference on all aspects of sailing, but to capture information that people have that is not available from elsewhere, such as their own recollections and experiences. Existing information should be referenced, rather than reproduced. To encourage contributions, areas of the web site will concentrate on specific subjects to focus minds and collect information, sparsely populated at present, but users can contribute ideas for building the knowledge base. One current campaign is to collect people’s recollections of Olympic sailing, right from 1908 in Ryde to 2008 in Qingdao – stories around the people, the equipment, etc.. Help is required to build areas of the wiki that provide additional perspectives on information.
  • Testing has been undertaken on digitisation and is awaiting funding to make much further progress.
  • A facility to record oral histories is available. This is a key element of collecting information that is not otherwise available and from people who cannot be expected to write down their experiences - see here for further information and to 'volunteer' interviewees.
  • Testing on capturing and archiving web sites on the basis that although this is published information, it has a transient life and cannot be retrieved once taken down. It is just as important to capture current history as it is to find information about 'old' history. We will build an area of the site that lists sites captured and available for off-line browing and a facility for users to recommend additional sites. Our priorities at the moment are sites such as personal, campaign, team or event sites which may be expected to otherwise have a short life.

We are seeking volunteers to help with building the archive and more members to chip in with the admin costs of this worthwhile project and who will form a network of contacts for tracking down information. It is an expansive and complex area so do become a member and explore the site or contact us with any queries/suggestions, etc..