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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Centre for Sports Science and History (CENSSAH)
Unique Identifier
Academic Library
Collections of athletics material of national and international significance consisting of an estimated 8,000 items covering the historical, scientific and technical aspects of athletics (track and field, road and cross country running), and also a significant collection on the Olympic Games. The subject coverage places a great deal of emphasis on the scientific aspects of sport: sport psychology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinanthropometry, sports medicine, injuries and motor processes, but the Centre also has substantial holdings on sport, physical education, recreation and leisure. There is also a significant collection of books and journals devoted to the history of sport. Besides primary and secondary printed works there are extensive holdings of archives (amongst them those of the Amateur Athletic Association and the papers of Harold Abrahams) and some 170 sound recordings of interviews with famous athletes, coaches and athletics officials. The Centre also holds the Minutes of Meetings of the Sports Council, 1969-1975. Gifts of archival material, either in the athletics or other sporting fields, are always welcome.

  • Books, journals, pamphlets
  • Sound Recordings
  • Electronic Journals
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Manuscripts
Archives of the Amateur Athletic Association, Papers of Harold Abrahams, Sound recordings of interviews with famous athletes, coaches and athletics officials, Minutes of Meetings of the Sports Council, 1969-1975
Date range of collection
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
higher education
Associated Places
Associated Times
Viewing the collection
The Centre's immediate aim is to serve members of the University. Its other objective is to fulfil a national and international research role by developing and exploiting relevant collections of sports material. The Centre welcomes occasional visitors from outside the University who are involved in sports-related research. You are advised to telephone before a visit to check current opening hours and to ensure that staff are available to help. If you need to consult any of the manuscript material in CENSSAH's collections, you will need to contact Information Services' Special Collections Team prior to your visit. Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5838/9. Email: special-collections@bham.ac.uk External Library membership (either for reference only, or full borrowing access) may be available to those who wish to use the Centre on a more regular basis. The Library publishes a leaflet giving information on admission policies (.pdf document).
Details also available

Location Details

University of Birmingham, Main Library
Edgbaston Birmingham West Midlands B15 2TT United Kingdom
Open Map
0121 414 5828
0121 471 4691 
Visiting Information
Monday to Thursday: 08:30 - 22:30 Friday: 08:30 - 19:00 Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00 Please note that access to the building after 21:00 Monday to Thursday is by valid University of Birmingham ID card or Library card only. Other service points in the Main Library such as the IS Helpdesk and Special Collections have varying opening hours. Check the library's webpage at http://www.is.bham.ac.uk/mainlib/openhrs.htm for the latest information about opening hours.
If you have no connection with the University, but are over 16, you will be able to gain free access on five days within a 12 month period. You will need to bring suitable identification (eg driver's licence, bank card, etc) on each visit, and you will be required to fill in a visitor registration form. Please note that no admission will be granted without identification. On each visit, you must arrive at a time when the Reception and Information Desk is staffed in order to be issued with a Visitor Pass. Re-entry to the Library or resource centre on the day that the pass is issued will only be possible when the Reception and Information Desk is staffed. If you subsequently obtain a Special Collections reader's card you will be able to enter the Main Library whenever the Special Collections Department is open. Please show your Special Collections card to gain access.
Telephone: 0121 414 5828 Email: library@bham.ac.uk
Limited wheelchair access. Accessible toilets. Parking bays reserved for those with a registered disabled parking badge or letter of permission.
Collections Overview
Library holds a collection of General Reference and several distinct subject and specialist collections covering a range of subjects in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering to support the universitiy's teaching and research interests. Collections include Antiquities Reference, History Records, History Reference, Language and Literature Reference, Official Statistics, Philosophy and Theology Reference, Science abstracts and indexes, Science Reference, Social Science abstracts and indexes, Social Science Reference, collections of archives, manuscripts, and rare books, UK, International, and Canadian Official Publications, and a Centre for Sports Science and History.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
  • Archive.
  • Collection.
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)

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