Screen shot of the London 2012 site in the UK Government Web Archive

19 September 2012

The National Archives has reached a landmark agreement with the British Olympic Association (BOA), the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure access to the records of London 2012. With the support of the BOA, the records will be housed at The National Archives, ensuring their long-term preservation and future public accessibility.

Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper, The National Archives, said: 'The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be seen as unparalleled in their scale, scope, and historical legacy. We are proud to preserve the record from the third London games, as we did for 1908 and 1948. We're thrilled that, for the first time, we will be able to show the whole picture of how the games were delivered - from organising committee to government - with an innovative digital Olympic archive for future historians, researchers and host cities to draw inspiration from.'

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: 'We are delighted that LOCOG's meticulous record keeping and learnings from previous Games will be retained in safe hands with The National Archives. The success of staging the London Games has demonstrated the capability of the UK to stage major sporting events, and this agreement will enable the London 2012 blueprint to be retained and shared with future organisers of other major sports events within the UK. It should also serve as a lasting digital legacy to inspire future generations of the events of London 2012.'

Historically valuable material

The digital records, which will begin transferring to The National Archives' digital repository next year, may comprise up to five terabytes (5TB) of data - comparable to around 50 kilometres of paper records.

The 'Archives of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games' will contain a large collection of historically valuable material from the bid process to the planning and delivery of the Games, through to the dissolution of LOCOG in 2013.

In addition, The National Archives is archiving social media and websites connected to the Games, many of which can already be viewed in our web archive's Olympic themed collection.

Archived websites from the London Games will be available through the UK Government Web Archive, while other records will remain closed for up to 15 years. The British Film Institute National Archive will hold audio and video material from the collection on behalf of The National Archives.

The Olympic Record

Earlier this year, The National Archives launched The Olympic Record site to host a selection of digitised records relating to previous Olympic and Paralympic Games dating back to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896 up to Beijing in 2008. 

The Olympic Record site also provides a gateway to hundreds of sporting and cultural activities taking place across the country. It offers advice and guidance to other public and private sector organisations in capturing the Olympic legacy outside of official public records.

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