The UK Archives has preserved the history of UK athletics dating back to the 1890s. The Archives began this process by collecting photographs, news clippings, game programs, and other printed materials. In the 1970s, the Archives assumed responsibility for preserving basketball and football game films and tapes. The Archives has also preserved radio and television broadcasts of UK athletic events.
The Archives has amassed one of the finest athletics collections in the United States, which now includes over 4000 videotapes, 1500 audiotapes, 1500 films, 10000 photographs, 30 scrapbooks, and 150 boxes of clippings, programs, and media guides. The collection is heavily used by researchers, often requiring reproductions of films, videotapes, and photographs.
Thanks to a generous gift from the Claude Sullivan family, the Sullivan broadcasts were cleaned, restored, and digitized. Not only was Sullivan one of the best broadcasters in Kentucky history but these records document a critical era in sports history.
Despite these efforts, UK athletics material needs increased archival attention. Requests from researchers, former athletes, and the media must be filled more promptly. Gaps in the collection need to be identified and filled by active collecting. Additional preservation measures must be enacted to prevent significant portions of the collection from disintegrating on the shelves. Materials need to be described and digitized to allow greater access. The collection should be promoted through exhibits and marketing.
Sports are a major component of our collective popular culture and the proud history of UK. Long after sporting events have faded from recent history - the images, accomplishments, and records set continue to live in our collective memories. The UK Archives has the important role of ensuring that the sights, sounds, facts, and goals are more than a memory.
By establishing an endowed Big Blue Sports Archives, UK will ensure that these documentary materials are preserved and made available for administrative, research, and marketing purposes. The study of the relationship between sports and society is expanding at a record pace, as evidenced by the existence of Athletics Archives at Penn State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, and the University of Alabama. An endowment, will ensure that the Big Blue Sports Archives has the necessary staffing and current technology for the Big Blue Sports Archives to become a true center of excellence for research in sports history and a source of pride for the Big Blue Nation.
Please help us preserve this legacy and invest in UK’s future!
Big Blue Sports Archives
Two million dollars
Oral History Graduate Assistantship
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
$10,000 - $49,999
$1,000 - $9,999
$100 - $999
For additional information, contact: Deirdre A. Scaggs
Margaret I. King Library
Lexington, Ky 40506-0039
(March 31, 2016) The UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center has initiated a new online requests system allowing all our faculty, students, patrons, and visiting researchers to submit requests for materials, schedule a visit, or place digital reproduction and oral history orders through a custom web-based interface.
Create an account to get started. All researchers visiting after March 31st will need to complete registration in their new account.
UK community members can login using their LinkBlue IDs while visitors can create their own login username and password. For more information, visit our FAQ.
The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. Special Collections maintains the records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. As part of the mission, the Special Collections Research Center advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.