Our archive material dates from the mid-nineteenth century to
the present day and spans the history of rugby from its amateur
origins through to materials which reflect the game in its present
professionalised form. Our collection is the world's leading
resource of research material for charting the history of the
Of outstanding archival importance are the game's first written
laws which, together with the RFU's minutes, date from 1871. The
RFU's minutes form undoubtedly the single most important,
continuous archive in rugby's history. They give a unique insight
and perspective into every major issue and development the sport
has seen. The archive is complemented by over 9,500 photographs,
beginning with 'A Bigside at Rugby' which dates from 1860 and is
the first known photograph of the sport, through to the current
Pre-eminent amongst the Museum's trophy collection is the
exquisite Calcutta Cup. This is rugby's oldest and most beautiful
international trophy. The Calcutta Cup is complemented by many
other fine examples, including the Siam Cup and the replica
Webb-Ellis trophy awarded to England following their 2003 Rugby
World Cup victory.
Our fine and decorative art collections include oils and
watercolours, charcoal, pastel and ink drawings, bronze sculptures
and plaster casts. We have a number of gifts and trophies given to
the RFU over the organisation's long history. The significance of
these objects to our collection is both historical and aesthetic,
giving an insight into the development of rugby across the world
and a window on different cultures.
Our collection of approximately 650 posters and prints span from
the nineteenth century to the present day and include some classic
London Transport and wartime recruitment posters. Included in this
collection is a beautiful, original study by Dame Laura Knight and
some wonderful early typographical examples.
We also have a large range of ephemera, including tickets,
dinner menus and programmes.