Published: 10th February 2024
Dundee United have thrown our weight behind a ground-breaking new project to preserve the photographic history of the club.
With a generous donation, the club has come together with United fans across the world in supporting the Arab Archive’s Digital Memories Project – a supporter-run initiative designed to create an “immersive” collection of digital images as part of its long-established online historical archive.
The Arab Archive (arabarchive.co.uk) was established in 2006 as a reference tool featuring United matches and lineups from 1909 to the present day. Thanks to the combined efforts of several United historians, statisticians and collectors over the years, the site now boasts a record of every major competitive match played by the club, and every player to have worn the shirt in those games.
But to stay at the forefront of football heritage, the site's admins believe that they must move with the times.
"The internet is changing," Arab Archive founder and co-admin Niall Harkiss explains, "Better understanding of digital property and the use of artificial intelligence has placed a new emphasis on image rights and licensing, and the onus is now on website developers like us to take responsibility when using digital media such as photographs.
“With that comes a cost, and as a volunteer-run, free-to-access website, for all the great work that has been put into building the Archive, these changes left us with a decision to make. Pack it all up and call it a day - or find a solution that can work.
“So, we got our heads together and after some research, we have launched the Arab Archive Digital Memories project. The aim of this new initiative is to build a digital image library that we can be proud of - one that celebrates United's greatest players, and greatest moments while ensuring that the already detailed statistical history we have built can be celebrated using the most fitting and immersive images available to us.”
Ivan Golac holds the Scottish Cup aloft in the Dundee City Square.
Arab Archive co-admin Bryan Orr also said: “We have been overwhelmed with the contribution from supporters everywhere. It is so humbling to know how many use the site and want it to continue to grow.
“We’re also delighted to have the club's backing for this project. Their endorsement will hopefully introduce the Archive to some new fans, perhaps younger supporters, who haven’t seen it before.
Chief Operating Officer, Joe Rice, added: "Dundee United are proud to offer support to Arab Archive's new project. Preserving our rich history is paramount, and this initiative ensures that the legacy of our club remains alive for generations to come."
"Arab Archive is a fantastic touchpoint for the United family all over the world. There's been a lot of hours invested by all parties to contribute to their hugely successful site, and the club are excited to help with its continued development."
With just a few weeks left before the campaign ends, the Archive team are appealing for further donations to help it go from strength to strength.