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Football's original rule book from 1863 to go on display

A notebook recording the world's first attempt to write down the rules of football is to go on display at the British Library in an exhibition devoted to the beautiful game.

The 1863 document, which is worth £2.5 million, contains notes from a series of pub meetings between the "founding fathers" of football in which they agreed on 13 original rules.

The 1863 FA Minute Book has pride of place alongside the Magna Carta and Shakespeare First Folio
The 1863 FA Minute Book has pride of place alongside the Magna Carta and Shakespeare First Folio

Those initial meetings led to the creation of the Football Association, which is celebrating its 150th birthday this month, and the FA Cup.

FA chairman Greg Dyke said the document's importance "cannot be underestimated" and that it "offers the public a glimpse into the origins of the nation’s favourite game".

The display, which runs from today until 17 December, also includes a 1930s referee book with 20 diagrams explaining the offside rule, and another offering advice on the "football temperament".

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British Library to preserve digital age under new rules

The operation to "capture the digital universe" is expected to take three months.
The operation to "capture the digital universe" is expected to take three months. Credit: PA

The British Library will begin to preserve the digital age for future generations when new regulations come into force on Saturday.

It aims to "harvest" the entire UK web domain to document current events and record the country's burgeoning collection of online cultural and intellectual works.

Billions of web pages, blogs and e-books will now be amassed along with the books, magazines and newspapers which have been stored for several centuries.

The library could eventually collect copies of every public Tweet or Facebook page in the British web domain.

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