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Manuscripts of Modern America
Football

What follows is a descriptive list of football-related manuscript groups held in the Joyce Sports Research Collection, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame. In addition to manuscript texts, the list includes other non-published formats with some claim to uniqueness, like scrapbooks and photographs. Some of the descriptions that follow are linked to finding aids, to provide readers with fuller information on particular collections.

  • ALL-AMERICA FOOTBALL CONFERENCE GAME STATISTICAL SUMMARY SHEETS. 1946-1949. 247 partly printed manuscript records; several pieces of printed ephemera. Original statistical summary sheets from each regular season and playoff game in the four-year history of the All-America Football Conference (1946-1949). Conceived as an alternative to the existing major professional football league, the NFL, the All-America Conference included franchises in Baltimore (1947-49), Brooklyn (1946-48), Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami (1946), New York, and San Francisco. Game summary sheets were completed in pencil on a printed form by the home club's official scorer; copies went to each club and to the Commissioner's office in New York (whence these apparently came). The sheets were compiled from the scorer's play-by-play and from statistical "working sheets" (neither of which are present). Some of the sheets are in pencil, and some are carbon copies made by the scorers. Most show corrections and annotations in red pencil, possibly by league statistician Homer F. Cooke, Jr. The forms include 28 statistical categories for individual players, as well as team statistics and general game data. Present in the collection are sheets for all 210 regular season league games and all six playoff games; there are also team composite sheets for each season, and several press releases. MSSP 1000-1 to MSSP 1000-223.

  • REGGIE BROWN COLLECTION. 1904-1940. 6 notebooks; miscellaneous manuscripts, photographs, and printed ephemera. Reginald W. P. Brown (1876-1961) was an 1898 graduate of Harvard who coached football at his alma mater and at several other schools in the Northeast. Five of the notebooks in the collection, dating to 1904, 1905 (2), 1911, and 1914, were compiled by Brown during his years as an assistant at Harvard (1902-16); one (1928) comes from his tenure as head coach at Boston University (1926-29). The 1904 and 1905 notebooks chronicle the events of those Harvard seasons through newspaper clippings, practice and game notes, play diagrams and commentary, and game charts, with particular attention to the '05 Penn and '04 and '05 Yale games. The 1911 and 1914 notebooks contain scouting reports on Harvard opponents, while the 1928 notebook is a collection of administrative documents on many aspects of Boston University's season, especially player personnel. MSSP 1001-1 to MSSP 1001-12; MSSP 1001-13-F1.

  • BERNIE BIERMAN PROGRAM RADIO SCRIPTS. 1941. 5 mimeographed scripts, each 16 to 19 pages. A group of five mimeographed radio scripts, 19 October to 23 November 1941, for the Bernie Bierman Program on WCCO, Minneapolis. Bierman was head coach of the University of Minnesota football team, consensus national champions in 1941. MSSP 1002-1 to MSSP 1002-5.

  • JOHN DEWITT COLLECTION. 1899-1931 (bulk 1902-1904). 1 scrapbook, 29 x 40 cm., 102 leaves, with 165 pages of clippings and ephemera tipped in; additional ephemera, photographs, and clippings. The chief item in the collection is a personal scrapbook on the Princeton University athletic career of John R. DeWitt (1881-1930), star and captain of the 1903 Big Four football champions. Included are clipped newspaper and magazine articles and photographs; congratulatory telegrams; and various kinds of printed ephemera. Materials are chronologically arranged, and cover the 1902 and 1903 football seasons (with great emphasis on the 1903 victory over Yale) and the 1903 and 1904 seasons in track and field. MSSP 1003-1-F1; MSSP 1003-2 to MSSP 1003-6.

  • CHARLES N. COGSWELL LETTER. 1877. 1 letter. A letter written on 25 November 1877 by Cambridge, Massachusetts schoolboy Charles Northend Cogswell (1865-1941), relating his attendance at a rugby football match between "the Cambridge High School and the Beacons of Boston". Cogswell includes two drawings of the match. MSSP 1004-1.

  • BROOKLYN DODGERS FOOTBALL CLUB LETTER. 1943. 1 letter. A letter on Brooklyn Dodgers (National Football League) letterhead, written by Dennis J. Shea, general manager of the club, to player Harry Jacunski, formerly of Fordham University and the Green Bay Packers. Shea sounds out Jacunski about playing for the Dodgers in 1943. MSSP 1005-1.

  • HOMER C. SELBY PORTSMOUTH SPARTANS CORRESPONDENCE. 1931-1934 (bulk 1932). 30 letters and telegrams. Homer Clifford Selby (1880-1959) was a Portsmouth, Ohio shoe company executive who in late 1931 assumed leadership of a committee to rescue the National Football League's Portsmouth Spartans from insolvency. Throughout 1932—when the Spartans lost to the Chicago Bears in a playoff for the NFL title—Selby remained deeply involved, though he ultimately failed to raise enough money to pay the club's debts; the Spartans moved to Detroit in 1934, becoming the Lions. Most of the letters in the collection were written by or directed to Selby, and relate to the team's finances (especially players' back wages). There are also two long enclosed letters from Spartans vice-president Harry Snyder to coach George "Potsy" Clark and player Bill McKalip. MSSP 1006-1 to MSSP 1006-14.

  • TED COY COLLECTION. ca. 1850s-1932. 5 scrapbooks and albums with photographs, clippings, printed ephemera, and manuscripts tipped in; 1 printed book; miscellaneous loose clippings, photographs, and ephemera. A collection of materials deriving from and relating to Yale University athlete Edward H. ("Ted") Coy (1888-1935). During his lifetime Coy was remembered as one of the greatest college football players in the game's history, a two-time consensus All-American who captained the 1909 Yale squad that went undefeated, untied, and unscored upon. Two scrapbooks contain materials (ca. 1902-06) from Coy's prep years at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut; included are photographs, correspondence, school records, and ephemera relating to Coy's athletic, academic, and social activities at Hotchkiss. A third scrapbook covers the 1909 football season at Yale, mostly through clippings, while a fourth contains materials pertaining to Coy's marriage to his third wife, Lottie Bruhn. MSSP 1007-1-F1; MSSP 1007-2-B to MSSP 1007-3-B; MSSP 1007-4-F1; MSSP 1007-5-B to MSSP 1007-6-B; MSSP 1007-7 to MSSP 1007-19.

  • LESLIE POLLARD CORRESPONDENCE. 1913-1914. 3 letters. This small group includes two letters written by Leslie Pollard in October 1914, as head football coach at historically black Lincoln University in Philadelphia. Pollard speaks of his younger brother Fritz, the future college and pro football star; of the Lincoln team; and of affairs at the New York Amsterdam News, where he had worked as a sports writer before coming to Lincoln. MSSP 1008-1 to MSSP 1008-3.

  • BERT BELL PAPERS. 1934-1937. 2 notebooks (22 cm.), with 48 and 37 pages of manuscript; 1 letter. This small collection includes two notebooks of financial records kept by owner/coach DeBenneville "Bert" Bell of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles during the 1937 season. One consists of player salaries, broken down by game; the second records advertising revenue from the Eagles' game programs. There is also a personal letter written by Bell in 1934 to his future wife, Frances Upton. Bell served as NFL commissioner from 1946 to 1959. MSSP 1009-1 to MSSP 1009-3.


  Related Collections:   Colonial & Revolutionary America Early National & Antebellum America American Civil War Modern America Sports

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