The Huddersfield Town Supporters Association (HTSA) is pleased to announce the launch of its Heritage Project website in association with local company Microform.
The website is an open access archive that hosts over 110 years’ worth of material from Huddersfield Town’s long and storied past.
The Huddersfield Town Heritage Project was born out of the crisis of 2003, when fans dug into their own pockets to save the club from liquidation. The remaining funds were set aside by members of the newly formed HTSA to consolidate the club’s history in one easily accessible place.
Some of those funds were used to build the heritage website, which is supported by the Huddersfield Town Foundation.
The website currently hosts over 30,000 images, which are divided into 10 thematic collections:
- Matchday Programmes: More than 1,100 home and away matchday programmes published during the period 1911-2017, including league, cup, and friendly fixtures. The programmes were kindly donated by Graham Clark.
- John M. Ward’s Private Archive: Over 13,000 pages of typescript notes, newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera from the private archive of Town historian John M. Ward. The website currently hosts material from the period 1900-1970. We will add material from more recent decades soon.
- Women’s Football Archive: A collection of photographs, matchday programmes, and media clippings which shed new light on the history of women's football in Huddersfield.
- Fanzines: 11 print issues of the popular Smile Awhile fanzine, which was founded in 2015 and published during the period 2017-2019.
- Fans & Fans’ Groups: An assortment of records and publications from fans’ groups, including the Patrons Association and HTSA.
- Video Archive: Digital reproductions of VHS tapes issued and sold by Town during the late-1980s and early-1990s, including goals of the season compilations.
- Club Documents: A selection of official documents, including the club’s original Memorandum and Articles of Association from 1908 and club accounts from the period 1989-2001.
- Huddersfield Town Timeline: An interactive timeline highlighting the most important events in the club's history, from its founding in 1908 and the 'Glorious Twenties' to the 101 Club season and the 2017 Playoff Final.
- Women’s Football Timeline: An interactive timeline highlighting the rich history of women's football in Huddersfield, from Atalanta Ladies' only game at Leeds Road in 1921 to Huddersfield Town Women's first game at the John Smith's Stadium nearly 100 years later.
- Player Database: A database of people who played for Town between 1908 and 2017. Information includes players' previous club and debut fixture. An up to date list will be uploaded for the beginning of the season.
Most of these collections incorporate the Universal Image Viewer, which is used by several renowned institutions such as the British Library. The viewer includes double-page spreads, an enhanced deep zoom function, fast loading speeds, single and multi-word OCR searching, OCR hit highlighting, and full-screen focus mode.
The two timeline collections use TimelineJS software, while the players database is based on a bespoke search function.
The website also contains a wealth of additional contextual material:
- 3 comprehensive support pages: Website Structure; Searching the Website; Using the Viewer.
- Dozens of articles and interviews: These cover every aspect of the club’s history and heritage, from mascots and kits to tactics and fandom.
- Honours and records: Club Honours; Hall of Fame; Roll of Honour.
- Other resources: Links to related resources that bring the club’s past to life.
The website is aimed first and foremost at Town fans, but we hope that it will be a useful resource for journalists, historians, schoolteachers, university lecturers, students of all ages, and the Foundation’s sporting memories sessions, too.
In the future, we plan to add more content (including more programmes from the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s), host regular events, develop educational assets, and produce video documentaries. In other words, the website is very much the beginning of the Heritage Project, not the end.
Commenting on the website, a HTSA spokesperson said:
“Today has been a long time coming, and it wouldn’t have been possible without those who donated their hard-earned money to save the club from oblivion in 2003. In terms of the workload, we are indebted to the dedication and determination of a handful of people. It hasn’t been easy—in fact, it’s been incredibly challenging at times—but we think it’s been worth the effort, and we hope Town fans agree. We’d like to thank everybody who has contributed, especially Graham Clark, John Ward, and Lee Morris for providing the bulk of the content.”
On working with Microform, the spokesperson added:
“Before we spoke to Microform, the Huddersfield Town Heritage Project had been stuck in limbo for nearly a decade. From our first meeting, it was clear that they could help us to develop a cost-effective and sustainable way of preserving and promoting the club’s history. What is more, they shared our desire to make this history accessible to as many people as possible—one of the project’s most important objectives. They have been involved in every step of the process, displaying an encouraging interest in the subject matter, a keen attention to detail, and a commitment to user experience. We’re delighted with the final iteration of the website and look forward to working with Microform in the future to add more content.”
If you have an item in your possession that you believe might be of interest to fellow fans, would like to submit an article for publication, or intend to get involved more generally, please email heritage[at]htsa-web.com.
And remember, you can join HTSA for just £1. In addition, NHS staff, emergency service workers, teachers, and those serving in the armed forces can join for nothing.
To join, pay £1 via PayPal and send your full name, age (over 18 or under 18), and email address to membership[at]htsa-web.com. You will receive your membership number within seven days of the PayPal payment being approved. From this point, we will keep you in the loop about what we are up to via e-mail.