(Photo: Emory University)
The stories, novels and pieces of African-American sports history have found a home with Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Books Library (MARBL).
While MARBL has collections related to African-Americans and religion, the arts, literature and poetry, civil rights and other areas, there was little in the area of sports until recently.
MARBL has started collecting various works and sports memorabilia that reflect the struggles and gains of African-American sports history. Some pieces will capture the impact athletes like Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, Curt Flood and Tommie Smith and John Carlos had on the civil rights movement.
This collection was sparked by the 2010 acquisition of the William Clyde “Doc” Partin Sr. collection, which includes a large collection of books about African-American athletes.
“This collection will have tremendous research value,” said Randall Burkett, MARBL’s curator of African-American Collections. The library has purchased many of the items that are in place so far. “This is an interesting and important area, and there is a wealth of material that needs to be preserved.”
Some of the significant items in the new collection include:
—A publicity photo of boxer Joe Louis and a ticket stub from the Joe Louis/Max Schmeling fight in 1938.
—A color illustrated print of Tom Cribb knocking out Tom Molineaux at a London fight in the first half of the 19th century.
—A team photo of the Atlanta Black Crackers, the counterpart to the white minor league Atlanta Crackers baseball team, active in the first half of the 20th century.
—Broadsides promoting games, and baseballs autographed by Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Buck O’Neil and other legendary players, from the Clyde Partin collection.