Burnley Central Library to become home for unique project showcasing life and times of Burnley Football Club
A collection of books and memorabilia celebrating the history and heritage of Burnley Football Club is being put together to create a unique showcase.
The idea for the exhibition, that will be homed in Burnley Library, came from author Dave Thomas who has written 25 books on the club where he has been a lifelong fan.
Keen to find a new home for the huge collection of books and other Clarets related material he has amassed over the years, Dave was delighted when the library expressed an interest in taking them.
Dave said: “Positive meetings have taken place with Burnley FC historian Shaun Borman and Mark Thompson, one of the club’s operating officers. The project will not rival the club’s collections in any way, instead being an easily accessible overflow.”
Dave’s collection includes an array of books, scrapbooks, magazines, football annuals and research he’s filed away over his 20 years of writing.
Other writers and collectors are also volunteering their own memorabilia to donate.
Dave added: ““Graham Shutt is donating a programme collection that is almost complete that goes back to the 40s and author Mike Smith is another founder donor with some of his research materials.”
Towneley Museum has sent all its Bob Lord display panels for an inaugural display and behind the scenes plans are being explored to launch a fundraising campaign to fund the project which is being envisioned as a space to bring the community together and three major donors have already pledged £25,000 between them. Donations could help to fund additional specific items and a second room to enhance and showcase the collection.
There will be a link between the library project and Burnley FC in the Community and the different groups that can use it including veterans, dementia groups, senior citizens groups, school groups.
Dave said: “It can be a meeting place, a good old-fashioned reading room, a place just for browsing through the hundreds of materials on offer. Authors can do their research.
“Former footballers have already offered to come in on a regular basis to chat with groups. The Burnley FC collection should become a real centre-piece of the library and it is envisioned that the second room might also hold lectures, talks and films about BFC. “
David Tilsley, archivist at Lancashire Archives, part of Lancashire County Council, said: “Dave’s passion for Burnley Football Club and his impressive collection is clear for everyone to see. It won’t have been easy for him to decide to part with his collection and we are just glad we are able to give it a new home where they can be enjoyed by the community.”
If you have any items you would like to donate to the project, including well-presented scrapbooks, general football books, BFC books, fanzines, magazines, annuals, old videos, DVDs, please contact Dave on 07961 846636 or bee[email protected]
It is hoped the project will be up and running by the end of October.