University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

The Joyce Sports Research Collection: Football

What follows is a guide to some of the more significant materials pertaining to American football held in Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame. It does not include football materials held elsewhere in the Hesburgh Libraries, or in Notre Dame's University Archives. Its purpose is to provide researchers with a convenient overview of Special Collections' resources in this subject area; it does not aspire to be comprehensive. Items listed in these finding aids do not circulate; they may be requested and consulted in Special Collections, 102 Hesburgh Library, from 9:30am to 4:30pm weekdays. Researchers interested in materials specifically relating to football at Notre Dame should contact University Archives, 607 Hesburgh Library.

Title or collection descriptions on this page are linked to records, inventories, and other appropriate types of finding aid. The dates that follow many of the annual and periodical titles on this page indicate the span of years a given title was published; available holdings are indicated in the linked finding aid. Questions concerning the materials on the page may be directed to the curator of the Joyce Sports Research Collection, Greg Bond.


Annuals — guide format

  • Holdings of the Spalding (1891-1940), Barnes (1941-49), and National Collegiate Athletic Association (1950- ) annual football guides. This sequence of titles provides the single most comprehensive account of the history of college football in the United States. Each guide recounts the events of the previous season. The earliest Spaldings were essentially rulebooks; game scores (and photographs) first appeared in 1893, and very select individual statistics in 1912. From 1906-1918, 1920-25, and 1929-32, Spalding published various regional editions of its football guides, which often differ significantly in coverage - though the extent to which they differ varies, depending on the year of issue. In general, the Eastern editions emphasize developments in New York and New England, the Middle Atlantic states, and the Southeast, while the Western editions emphasize developments in the rest of the country, including the Midwest. Pacific Coast editions were published in 1923-25 and 1930-32. Coverage is never limited to the region of emphasis, however; there is a great deal of overlap. The contemporary publication NCAA Football is essentially a record book in its retrospective, statistical orientation.

  • Holdings of various professional football guides, including the Spalding (1935-40), NFL (1941- ), and Sporting News (1947-50; 1970- ) National Football League guides; the All-America Football Conference Record Manual (1947-50); and the Sporting News American Football League guide (1962-69). Each of these titles provides an overview of the previous season's events.

  • Holdings of various annuals emphasizing instructional material, rules, and officiating, including the Spalding Athletic Library How to Play Foot Ball (1894-1937).

Annuals — magazine format


  • Holdings of Football News, a tabloid newspaper published weekly during the football season since 1939. Football News was originally subtitled "The American Collegiate Sports Weekly," though it never covered anything but football and from its inception included at least passing mention of the pros. The subtitle was eliminated in the late'fifties as pro coverage increased.

  • Holdings of What's What in Football (1937-41), an early seasonal weekly with little commentary but quite comprehensive team ratings, schedules, and scores. Includes coverage of National Football League teams.

Yearbooks and Media Guides


Special Collections

  • A group of notebooks compiled by college football coach Reginald W. P. ("Reggie") Brown (1876-1961). Five notebooks (dating to 1904, 1905 (2), 1911, and 1914) are from Brown's years as an assistant at Harvard (1902-16); one (1928) comes from the four years he spent 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 the B.U. season, especially player personnel.

  • A collection of scrapbooks on Edward H. ("Ted") Coy (1888-1935), two-time consensus All-American fullback and captain of the 1909 Yale squad that went undefeated, untied, and unscored upon. Two scrapbooks contain materials (c. 1902-06) from Coy's years at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT; included are photographs, correspondence, school records, and ephemera deriving from 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 1928 marriage to Lottie Bruhn.

  • A scrapbook of materials on the Princeton University athletic career of John R. DeWitt (1881-1930), a two-time consensus All-American at guard (1902 and 1903) and member of the CFF College Football Hall of Fame. Included are clipped newspaper and magazine articles and photographs and various personal ephemera, all dating from 1902-04. Materials are chronologically arranged, and cover the 1902 and 1903 football seasons and the 1903 and 1904 seasons in track and field. (83 leaves, with materials r. and v.; 13.5 x 11 inches).

  • A collection of 51 scrapbooks, each 10.5 x 15 inches, on college and professional football in the San Francisco Bay area, c. 1946-52. The scrapbooks consist mostly of clippings from local newspapers; detailed coverage is provided of football at California, Stanford, Santa Clara, USF, San Jose, and, especially, St. Mary's College. Coverage also includes the San Francisco 49ers of the AAFC and NFL.

  • A collection of 23 scrapbooks in loose-leaf binders on college and professional football, 1946-57. The greater part of the material consists of newspaper clippings, but magazine articles, programs, and game charts are also included. Coverage is national in scope, though there is some emphasis on pro and college teams from California and on Notre Dame.

  • A collection of 5 scrapbooks, each 12 x 14.5 inches, on college and professional football, 1941-46. Subjects treated include the annual Chicago Tribune All-Star Charity Games (which are dealt with intensively), the NFL Chicago Bears, and college bowl games. Many of the clipped articles and photographs that make up the scrapbooks derive from the Chicago Tribune.

  • A collection of general interest magazines containing articles announcing college All-America football teams, 1896-1962. Included are most of Walter Camp's and (subsequently) Grantland Rice's articles for Collier's. The contents of all magazines are complete.

  • A collection of twelve autographed footballs dating from 1965 to 1980, each signed by the members of a different Kodak All-America Team. Each ball contains 21-24 signatures.