Collecting the Commonwealth Games

As Scotland counts down to the arrival of the Commonwealth Games in July the staff at National Museums Scotland have been thinking about how we can document this significant event. Within the National Collection there are already a variety of objects from the Commonwealth Games over the years. These objects have been collected to reflect the contribution of Scotland to the games and represent the 1970 and 1986 games held in Edinburgh as well as the experiences of Scottish athletes.

Commemorative baton of the 1986 Commonwealth Games
Commemorative baton of the 1986 Commonwealth Games used in the Queen’s Baton Relay. Sprinter Allan Wells carried the baton on its last leg of the journey in 1986 and was also the first person to carry the 2014 baton for the Glasgow games.

In the collection we have posters, leaflets and booklets from the games hosted by Scotland as well as batons, medals, commemorative coins and some uniforms worn by the athletes. In 2014 we would like to focus on two areas of collecting. The first is to collect objects that demonstrate the impact of the games throughout Scotland and the second is to document the experiences of a variety of people.

Official poster for the IXth Commonwealth Games
Official poster of the IXth Commonwealth Games in 1970 designed by James Hope. The poster depicts the Edinburgh games logo which incorporates a thistle and a saltire. 1970 was first time the Commonwealth Games logo was modified to include symbols representing the host nation.
Gold medal won by cyclist Sir Chris Hoy at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
Gold medal won by cyclist Sir Chris Hoy at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Scottish team won 29 medals in total in 2006 and 11 of which were gold medals in cycling, shooting, swimming, lawn bowls and boxing.

In order to do this we would like to ask for help from anyone who is involved with the Commonwealth Games this year. If you are an athlete, an official, a volunteer or a spectator we would like to hear about your experiences. One way of doing this would be to keep a ‘Games Diary’. This could be written or take the form of a blog post or a video diary which the museum would then archive. If you would like to take the opportunity to have your memories preserved within the national collections you can find out more about this by reading our fact sheet.

The types of objects we would like to collect could include items such as uniforms, flags and souvenirs. Objects like this will help us to preserve the memories of Glasgow 2014 for future generations and will be made available for research and display. We are particularly interested in objects which have particular stories attached to them. If you have something to donate that you think would be of interest, we would love for you to get in touch. If you have any interesting items from previous games held in Scotland we would also be keen to hear from you. You can find out more about the project here.

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