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!
For additional information, contact:
Deirdre A. Scaggs University of Kentucky Libraries
Margaret I. King Library
Lexington, Ky 40506-0039