Checking out the Library
By Jim Gates
One of the great benefits about working for the National Baseball Hall of Fame is that we get to meet so many people who make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown from all over the world. I personally enjoy having the opportunity to meet a variety of librarians and archivists that pass through our doors.
Recently, we had a special visitor, Judy Graves, a Digital Projects Coordinator for the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The LOC is the world’s greatest accumulation of books, documents, and all matter of recordings and ephemera – and it was a real treat to provide Ms. Graves with a behind-the-scenes tour of our facility. (Although we are not as big as the LOC, we think our collection is really cool, and it is fun to show off to visiting library professionals.
It should come as no surprise that America’s largest library should have a significant collection of baseball related material, and over the past several years they have been working on a project to promote this. The result has been the production of a beautiful new book titled Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress which was recently published by Smithsonian Books.
This volume contains 240 pages of pure baseball history as it is loaded with high-quality images of the game from baseball cards to posters to advertisements to rare photographs. Several of our research and curatorial staff have had the chance to peruse this book, and all the comments have been quite positive.
As part of her visit, Ms. Graves donated an author signed copy of Baseball Americana to the Hall of Fame’s library, and we were very pleased to accept this gift. It is only through such gifts that we are able to expand the scope and depth of our collection and the support we receive is greatly appreciated. This book will hold a special place in our library and I hope that some of you have the chance to enjoy it as well.
Jim Gates is the librarian of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.