Being passionate about preserving squash’s long and rich heritage, ex World Squash Federation (WSF) CEO Andrew Shelley has decided to donate his time and experience to archive and preserve the history of squash for future generations, as well as providing an information resource by launching the World Squash Library (WSL).
It is an independent, ‘not-for-profit’ initiative to ensure that books, magazines, championship programmes, results, images and other information are brought together in one place to preserve them for future generations, and to respond to enquiries from current players, media, Federations, students or anyone else wanting information on the storied history of the sport.
WSL has already launched its first two compendiums of the sport’s World Championships, covering all the Men’s & Women’s World Opens, starting from the inaugural events in 1976.
The ‘one-stop’ productions feature the dates, venue and results (in conjunction with www.squashinfo.com) for each event over the decades, including champion photos and programme cover scans.
There are also champions posters featuring all the winners, in both digital and print form. They are free to download by Federations, events, clubs and enthusiasts here.
“There are approaching 4,000 items catalogued now, stretching back to 1890, and although there are gaps to be filled, a great many of the handbooks and magazines along with many World Championship and other major event programmes are in place so that questions can be answered and researches mounted,” said Shelley.
“The Men’s and Women’s Open compilations are the first of a series which will ultimately comprise both World Junior Individual events, followed by the senior and junior World Team Championships too.”
The Library has published a feature detailing the evolution of courts, rules and filming that have elevated event presentation along with spectator and broadcast enhancements. Also available to view are a history of squash timeline, World Squash Awards winners, features on the British Open, Wembley Squash Centre and more.
The Library also has a YouTube Channel where Olympic bid videos, the first dating back to 1987, can be viewed.
For the future, the Library also intends to digitalise key information too, as and when financial support is found.
For those with questions, able to offer publications, programmes and other materials to WSL, or even keen to support the running costs, Shelley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.