Archives and Collections
In addition to the three-dimensional artifacts, the Library contains over three million documents, everything from books and magazines to scrapbooks and manuscript collections, as well as over 250,000 photographic images and over 16,000 hours of recorded media. Like the artifacts, these items, too, are kept in controlled storage facilities to ensure that they last for years to come.
These materials are a boon to baseball fans and baseball researchers alike, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is committed to preserving these items so that future Museum visitors will be able to recollect baseball memories and share experiences.
Your Memories. Your Heroes.
Make a gift in memory or honor of your favorite baseball legend and preserve their legacy in Cooperstown. Your favorite ballplayer, a coach, your mom or dad, a teammate – who is your baseball hero?
The Photo Archives contains photographs of every aspect of the game of baseball. It depicts the broad diversity of people on the field, the places they played, and the action of the game. The 250,000 photographs housed in the Photo Archives document more than 150 years of baseball history, visually recording the game’s place in American culture.
The Manuscript Archives contain a variety of material, including the papers of individuals, records of organizations, scrapbooks, consciously assembled collections of unique material, along with Hall of Fame created ephemera collections. These collections range in size from a few documents to hundreds of boxes. Many of these are fully described by records in our online library catalog. These records include a summary description, and often include links to a more detailed Archival Finding Aid.
Here is a partial list of original collections held in the Manuscript Archives:
August Herrmann Papers
August “Garry” Herrmann was president of the Cincinnati Reds and chairman of the National Commission during the years 1902-1927. Herrmann’s papers include correspondence, newspaper articles, contracts, ledgers, maps, blueprints, drawings, and ephemera that offer insight into the operations of an early twentieth-century baseball club and the first ruling government of baseball.
Gene Mack Cartoons
Gene Mack was a noted cartoonist for the Boston Globe from 1927 to 1950. This archive contains many of his original drawings.
Roger Kahn Papers
Roger Kahn ranks among baseball’s most prolific and popular authors. This archive includes personal and professional correspondence, contracts, litigation documents, fan mail, newspaper articles and photos covering the period 1936 to 2004.
Federal League Litigation
This is a collection of correspondence, agreements, court transcripts, affidavits and newspaper clippings relating to the Federal League antitrust litigation between 1914 and 1925.
Scorebooks and Scorecards
Ranging from the Oshkosh Base Ball Club in 1886, to the present day, this archive contains a variety of scorebooks kept by Edward Murphy, Sid Mercer, and Tom Meany. The scorecards are divided into eight series (major league, minor league, Negro leagues, military and wartime, New York Yankees, All-Star and World Series, amateur, and oversized) and include hundreds of individual games.
Hundreds of individual scrapbooks have been fully processed and are available to researchers. Many of these artifacts include newspaper clippings, but they may also contain photographs and other ephemera. Examples of this collection include the Mickey Mantle series, Effa Manley’s personal scrapbook, the Japan Goodwill tour series, and the Vivian Kellogg AAGPBL collection.
Ephemera is material produced for a one-time, limited purpose use and can be understood generally as transient documents of everyday life. The category of ephemera covers a wide variety of material, and can include: lineup cards, lithographs, posters, press passes, decals, newspapers, schedules, etc.
Inquiries regarding the organization and description of the Archive Collections may be addressed to:
|Mail:||National Baseball Hall of Fame|
|25 Main Street|
|Cooperstown, NY 13326|
Portions of the Recorded Media Archives are available for use in film, television and radio productions. Fees will vary greatly, depending on source and usage. Please contact the staff for rates and restrictions. The National Baseball Hall of Fame will make every effort to protect all intellectual property rights, and copying of material from this archive may be highly restricted.
The collections of the Recorded Media Archives include:
Interviews and Oral Histories
An outstanding collection of interviews of players and officials by sports writers, broadcasters and historians. Many of these recordings are stand-alone interviews, while several organized collections also exist. One example is the Fay Vincent Collection, featuring video recordings of notable players, managers and executives.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame Library contains thousands of volumes dedicated to chronicling the history of America’s Pastime. Each year, hundreds of new books and publications dedicated to baseball are added to the collection. One may use our online library catalog to perform subject, title, author, and keyword searches in order to discover which materials would best one’s needs.
Here is a list of some of the items available in our collection:
These form the bulk of our collection of printed materials. They include novels; biographies; team histories; histories of baseball played in particular cities, states, and countries; children’s books; cookbooks; and various other fictional and non-fictional works.
The Hall of Fame Library has bound editions of many popular baseball periodicals, as well as many that focus on sports in general. Sports Illustrated, Sport, Baseball America, Baseball Weekly, Baseball Digest, The New York Clipper, and The Sporting News are just a sample of the titles contained in the Library’s collection. In addition to print editions, some of these – Sporting Life and The Sporting News, for example – may also be available in microforms.
Complete or nearly-complete runs of various statistical guides are also kept at the Library. The Spalding, Reach, and Sporting News guides form the bulk of the annuals kept here, but other early annuals, such as Beadle’s Dime Base-Ball Player and DeWitt’s Base-Ball Guide, are also available. However, many titles exist, and the Hall of Fame Library strives to include as many as possible.
The Hall of Fame Library also has several copies and editions of baseball encyclopedia.
Another strong category within the Hall of Fame Library surrounds team publications for Major League Baseball teams, minor-league teams, foreign teams, AAGPBL teams, as well as others. It is important to note, however, that these may not necessarily be complete runs. Publications for minor-league teams are mostly from the latter half of the 20th century and afterward, and they may be limited, depending on the team.
Documents written in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other languages are also available at the Hall of Fame Library.
The mission of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Museum collection is to collect and preserve three-dimensional artifacts documenting the history of baseball. As stewards of the collection, it is our charge to protect these objects for the public. It is vital that objects be conserved and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
The Museum’s three-dimensional collection contains more than 40,000 artifacts representing all facets of the game, from its inception to the present. This includes bats, baseballs, uniforms, player equipment, ballpark artifacts, awards, artwork, textiles, collectibles and assorted memorabilia relating to all aspects of baseball including, but not limited to, Hall of Famers, Major and Minor League players and teams, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the Negro Leagues, stadiums, events, amateur baseball, and international baseball.
Gifts of artifacts associated with baseball’s history are essential to the growth and education potential of the Museum and are actively sought. Past donations have provided our Museum with the outstanding collection that has continued to appeal to all generations from varied backgrounds throughout the world. The Museum acquires appropriate artifacts for its collection solely through gifts from the general public and amateur and professional baseball organizations. We invite you to contribute to the Museum’s holdings and become an active participant in the future of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
All artifacts submitted for acquisition are reviewed by the Museum’s Acquisitions Committee. If you are interested in donating an artifact to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Museum collection, we encourage you to submit the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
• A photograph of the object
• A brief description of the piece, including dimensions
• All available information on the age and origin of the object
• Potential donor’s name, address and contact information
• Any other information about the history of the object
We welcome your proposals and hope you will join with us in preserving the heritage and future of our National Pastime.