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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each entry below follows the format:
Collection name, date range of the collection
Extent in linear feet of collection. Link to more information about the collection (if available).
Brief description of content.
Walter O’Malley papers, 1946-1957
Call number: 2004.003
1 linear foot. 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, http://www.walteromalley.com/.
Larry Trapani Brooklyn Dodgers collection, 1941-1957
Call number: 2005.037
Consists of five scrapbooks and an engineer’s blueprint. The scrapbooks, with newspaper and magazine pictures and articles about the Dodgers, were compiled by Trapani, a Dodgers fan, starting in his childhood. The engineer’s blueprint of Ebbets Field, dated 1954, was purchased by him at auction.
Brooklyn Ephemera collection, 1814-1998
Call number: ARC.272
Series 8: Sports. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes Dodgers-related materials: yearbooks, magazines, newsletters, scorecards, programs, tickets, cards, etc. The collection includes scorecards of games from the 1880s and 1890s.
Quigley collection of Dodgers and other baseball memorabilia, 1943-1973
Call number: 2007.052
1 linear foot.
Includes items collected by Quigley while he was employed at Ebbets Field in the 1940s and 1950s: 12 signed team baseballs, 1943-1955; 11 World Series programs, 1951-1956 (one signed by the Dodgers); 1955 revised Dodgers Yearbook; 3 photos, 2 copies of Sports Illustrated.
William Watson Clark scrapbook, circa 1928 to 1938
Call number: 2011.006
1.34 linear feet. 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, -1961
Call number: 1991.049
1.5 linear feet. Link to more information about the collection.
Includes a scrapbook with, among other material, Dodgers memorabilia of the 1950s.
“When the Dodgers Left New York” song lyrics
Call number: 1986.056
0.1 linear feet.
Lyric sheet for song composed by Tim Horrigan about the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team and its move to Los Angeles in 1957. (The collection also includes an audiocassette recording of the song, but preservation concerns preclude that from being played at present.)