How it began - the cover of MLA's Setting the Pace policy at launch in 2006
Over one hundred museums, libraries and archives across the country have signed up to host activities this summer and autumn to mark the start of the UK's Olympic journey.
The activities - part of the Museum, Library and Archive Council's (MLA) Setting the Pace programme - are timed to coincide with the symbolic handover from the Beijing Games on August 24 and the start of the UK Cultural Olympiad on the weekend of September 26-28 2008.
Margaret Hodge launches Setting the Pace at London's South Bank in 2007. © Jon Pratty / Culture24
Setting the Pace is the MLA co-ordinated programme to support museums, libraries and archives and their vital contribution to the UK's four year Cultural Olympiad.
"Our museum, library and archive collections are a wonderfully rich reflection of the world's complex cultural identities," said Andrew Motion, MLA Chair. "It's absolutely right they should play this crucial role in allowing people throughout the country to take part in the Cultural Olympiad, and to celebrate the Games."
Bill Morris, Director of Culture at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said: "I am delighted that museums, libraries and archives are with us at the start of our four year journey to create a programme of cultural events to celebrate the UK's wonderful and diverse cultures and inspire a generation of young people."
Phase one of Setting the Pace has two elements - The People's Record, capturing the experience of living in an Olympic host nation; and Literature and Stories, which will use collections as creative inspiration for young poets, and as a source for story telling and performance events.
Setting the Pace will complement Stories of the World - one of the ten major projects of the Cultural Olympiad, led by MLA in partnership with LOCOG. Stories of the World will showcase reinterpreted collections through a network of exhibitions. Further details will be announced during the launch of the Cultural Olympiad.