Brooklyn Dodgers

Guide to Brooklyn Dodgers Archival Material at the Othmer Library

This guide is intended as an aid to researchers interested in archival material at Brooklyn Historical Society that relates to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The collections include correspondence, programs, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and other material related to the team. A significant collection from the Dodgers organization relates to the efforts to keep the team in Brooklyn. The bulk of the archival material concerns the teams of the 1940s and 1950s, though there is some material from as early as the 1880s.

Although this guide is extensive and is expected to satisfy many research needs in this subject, researchers should be aware that this guide is not necessarily comprehensive. The guide includes only those archival materials that were identified as relevant and were documented over time by archivists in the course of their work. Accordingly, researchers may wish to review finding aids from collections not found on the guide to identify other materials potentially useful to their research. Access to the “finding aid portal” for such searches is available from this page: http://www.brooklynhistory.org/library/search.html.

The emphasis of this guide is on text-based archival material held by BHS. In addition to the archival material detailed in this guide, there are other resources at BHS useful to researching the Brooklyn Dodgers. First, you can search BHS’s online catalog, Bobcat, for books and other print matter available in the library: http://www.brooklynhistory.org/library/search.html. The principal keyword to search is Dodgers. You can also search for specific individuals by name, such as Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, or Walter O’Malley. Other relevant keywords include Ebbets Field. For broader searches in this subject area, use keyword baseball.

The library’s clippings scrapbook collection (on microfiche) includes material on the Dodgers; a card index to the fiche is available. Articles about the team are indexed under Dodgers. Also see Baseball and Baseball-Brooklyn. Articles can also be found about the team under its earlier names, including Superbas and Trolley Dodgers. See Ebbets for both the field and team ownership, and look for articles on earlier playing fields such as Washington Park. Individuals are indexed by last name (e.g., Robinson, Jackie; Hodges, Gil).

The library’s Map Collection includes a circa 1920s item titled [Map of how to get to Ebbett’s Field] that includes illustrations of the team. Ask for call number B A-[192-?]a.Fl.

In addition to text-based material, you can search a database in BHS’s library for images, such as photographs, postcards, posters, works on paper, etc. Both Brooklyn Dodgers and Dodgers are used in the database as search terms for the team. At present, search terms for individual Dodgers in the image database are generally indexed by first name (e.g., Jackie Robinson, not Robinson, Jackie). Among other search terms are baseball, Ebbets Field, and Washington Park.

Material found in Bobcat, the microfiched scrapbooks, the map, and the image database are available for use in the library without an appointment. The following archival collections, however, are only available by appointment for viewing in the library. To schedule an appointment or for further information about these collections, please contact the library via email: library@brooklynhistory.org.

Each entry below follows the format:

Collection name, date range of the collection
Call number
Extent in linear feet of collection. Link to more information about the collection (if available).
Brief description of content.

Walter O’Malley Brooklyn Dodgers records, 1946-1957
Call number: ARC.294
1 linear foot in two manuscript boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.

The bulk of the collection comprises correspondence and memoranda from 1946-57, covering the period of O’Malley’s roles as counsel to, and vice president of, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and afterward his ascension to the presidency of the organization in 1950. The collection chiefly relates to the Dodgers’ efforts to secure a site and build a new stadium in Brooklyn to replace Ebbets Field, and failing to do so, the team’s move to Los Angeles in 1957. Included in these records is correspondence with such notable figures as city construction coordinator Robert Moses, Mayor Robert F. Wagner, New York State Governor Averell Harriman, Brooklyn Borough President John Cashmore, and architect/engineer Buckminster Fuller. The collection also includes documents that are available for viewing on the Walter O’Malley website, www.walteromalley.com.

Brooklyn Dodgers collection, 1884-2002
Call number: ARC.297
3.75 linear feet in five manuscript boxes and one oversize flat box.
Link to more information about the collection.

The collection contains scorecards, programs, yearbooks, magazines, clippings, scrapbooks, posters, and other items related to the Brooklyn Dodgers, dating from 1884 to 2002. It also includes a small amount of items related to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Of note are several late 19th century Brooklyn baseball scorecards.

Larry Trapani Brooklyn Dodgers collection, 1941-1957
Call number: 2005.037
6.25 linear feet in two flat boxes and one blueprint box.
Link to more information about the collection.

This collection contains a rolled engineer’s blueprint of Ebbetts Field and 5 scrapbooks with newspaper and magazine pictures and articles about the Dodgers (1941-1957). Scrapbooks were compiled by Mr. Trapani, a Dodger fan, as a boy in Brooklyn. The blueprint, dated 1954 (42½” x 35), was purchased by him at an auction for $15. 

Quigley collection of Dodgers and other baseball memorabilia, 1943-1973
Call number: 2007.052
1 linear foot in one record carton.
Link to more information about the collection.

This collection contains 12 signed team baseballs, 1943-1955; 11 world series programs, 1951-1956 (one signed by the Dodgers); a 1955 revised Dodgers Yearbook; 2 copies of Sports Illustrated (1955); and a 1973 Mets Diamond Club admission card for Daniel Quigley. Except for this last item, all other items were collected by Daniel Quigley while he was employed at Ebbets Field in the 1940s and 1950s.

William Watson Clark scrapbook, circa 1928 to 1938
Call number: 2011.006
1.34 linear feet in one oversize box.
Link to more information about the collection.

One scrapbook documenting the career of William Watson Clark as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Robins, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants.  Items date from circa 1928 to 1938.  Items in the scrapbook include clippings, tickets to Ebbets Field, baseball cards, and other ephemera.  The scrapbook was compiled by Watson’s wife.

Eckford Social Club scrapbook, [1871]-1961
Call number: 1991.049
1.5 linear feet in one oversize box.
Link to more information about the collection.

Includes a scrapbook with, among other material, Dodgers memorabilia of the 1950s.

Brooklyn Dodgers photographs, 1949-1956
Call number: V1987.001
0.02 Linear feet, five items housed in one folder.
Link to more information about the collection.

The Brooklyn Dodgers photographs consist of five black-and-white photographic prints dating from 1949 to 1956. The photographs are attributed to the news agency United Press International (UPI). Included are two photographs of Jackie Robinson–one of Robinson sitting alone in the dugout and the other capturing Robinson stealing home against catcher Yogi Berra during the opening game of the 1955 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. The collection also includes a photographic portrait of pitcher Hank Casey; a team photograph of the Dodgers in front of Borough Hall in Brooklyn after winning the National League pennant in 1949; and a photograph of Dodgers’ fans waiting on line to buy tickets for the World Series after the Dodgers won the National League pennant in 1956.

Brooklyn Dodgers team photographs, 1953
Call number: V1987.019
1.4 Linear feet, in one folder and one oversize box.
Link to more information about the collection.

Five photographs, dated 1953, with Brooklyn Dodgers team photographs. One group portrait of the 1953 team is included, as well as individual photographs of Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and manager Charlie Dressen.

Collection of Brooklyn Dodgers photographic portraits, circa 1940-1957
Call number: ARC.265
39 items in two folders.
Link to more information about the collection.

The Collection of Brooklyn Dodgers photographic portraits contains 39 halftone reproductions of Brooklyn Dodgers publicity photographs dating from circa 1940 to 1957. The collection consists of portraits of team members of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Each portrait is autographed.

Call numbers for additional Brooklyn Dodgers photographs:

V1973.5.1804 – V1973.5.1806; V1973.5.3678; V1974.39.44; V1982.5.20; V1984.1.639; V1987.5.1 a,b; V1987.16.1; V1987.19.1 – V1987.19.5; V1989.30.24; V1990.18.1; V1990.35.1; V1991.4.1 – V1991.4.2; V1991.52.1; V1993.10.1 – V1993.10.9

Ebetts Field Oral History interviews, 2010
Link to more information about the collection.

In 2010, students participating in Exhibition Laboratory (Ex-Lab), an after-school program in which students Brooklyn schools learn the process of curating an exhibit from start to finish, conducted oral history interviews with 34 Dodgers fans who remembered Ebbets Field.

Students chose excerpts from these oral histories to include in their exhibit Home Base: Memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field (2010 – 2012). The oral history montages from this exhibit are available for listening via Brooklyn Historical Society’s iTunes podcast.