The Pritchard archive (John)
As foreshadowed on page 368 of the Classified Encyclopedia, David Pritchard's Encyclopedia files have now (June 2012) been deposited in the Musée Suisse du Jeu, rue du Château, La Tour-du-Peilz, Switzerland (www.museedujeu.com). My thanks to Ian Watson for providing the transport. In the event, David's family agreed to the deposition of the whole of his Encyclopedia files, not just of photocopies of selected letters.
The archive therefore comprises the following.
- A box of 1700+ index sheets, one per game, arranged in alphabetical order (assuming that the most recent user has put things back in the right place). These give the serial number which David assigned to the game, and sometimes provide a complete statement of its rules; more usually, there are references to material in the envelopes (see below) or in published sources such as the British Chess Magazine.
- A set of 30+ files, currently yellow though some are coming apart and may in due course be replaced, containing further information on particular games (typically, copies of manufacturers' publicity material or other published information). The files are classified by first letter (some letters, such as C, occupy several files), and the material within is arranged in serial number order. There is an index on the back of each file.
- A set of 130+ numbered envelopes, each typically containing information relevant to several games.
- Some miscellaneous files, each typically containing information relating to groups of related games.
Accompanying the archive were some boxes of books and magazines (in particular, Eteroscacco 1-88 complete, Shogi 1-70 complete, Abstract Games 1-16 complete, World Game Review 1-13 complete, and Nost-algia 142-388 largely complete), and I have suggested that these be integrated with the rest of the Musée's library if it does not already possess them.
The Musée is located by the side of the lake, between Vevey and Montreux. It's a lovely spot, and is well worth a visit in its own right quite apart from the value of the above material to future researchers and compilers of reference works.