Scope and arrangement
The Albert G. Spalding Collection contains over 3,000 books and pamphlets as well as numerous periodicals, scrapbooks, photographs, and original drawings on baseball and other sports. A catalogue of the entire collection was published in the Bulletin of The New York Public Library (1922) Volume 26, pp. 86-127. The books and pamphlets can be found in the General Research Division of the N.Y.P.L.; the photographs and drawings in the Art, Prints and Photographs Division. The materials belonging to the Manuscripts and Archives Division include Baseball Club records; Henry Chadwick Papers; Albert G. Spalding scrapbooks; and Harry Wright Papers.
The Baseball Club records include scorebooks for games played by the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn and Jamaica, New York, 1855-1868 and the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, 1868-1870. Records of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York include scorebooks, 1845-1866, as well as scrapbooks of correspondence, 1846-1876, and club books, 1854-1868, containing lists of members, minutes of meetings, and records of the board of officers.
The Henry Chadwick Papers consist of scorebooks, scrapbooks, and diaries kept by the renowned sports writer and "Father of Baseball" who was instrumental in the development of modern playing rules and the system of scoring in baseball. The scorebooks, 1858-1907, contain completed scorecards for professional and amateur baseball games, including some college games. Additional materials such as newspaper clippings, rules, National Association annual meeting minutes, and photographs have been pasted in as well. There are also four score books for cricket games played by American teams, amateur and professional, from 1856 to 1882.
The majority of the scrapbooks, 1858-1908, contain newspaper reports on baseball games, including Chadwick's own columns. Other material found in the scrapbooks include notes and drafts of his writings on sports, souvenir programs, admission tickets, and other ephemera. Of particular note are the volume of Chadwick's correspondence and draft manuscripts (Vol. 26) and the scrapbook containing material added after Chadwick's death regarding the first French baseball team (Vol. 19). The remaining volumes contain newspaper clippings on cricket and other sports.
Chadwick's diaries are pocket and desk diaries, 1873-1907, used as scrapbooks for clippings on baseball games, including box scores, statistics, league schedules, and season summaries.
The Albert G. Spalding scrapbooks, 1874-1911, contain clippings on baseball, on Spalding's book America's National Game and in particular, on Spalding's baseball world tour, 1888-1889. The latter include ephemera collected on the trip, such as menus, invitations, game schedules, etc. Volume 5 contains letters thanking Spalding for complimentary copies of his book.
The Harry Wright Papers consist of correspondence, notebooks, account books, and scorebooks owned by the famous baseball player and manager responsible for organizing the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team. His correspondence, 1865-1894, is divided into letterpress copies of his own letters, 1871-1885, and scrapbooks of letters to him. Of the original four volumes of incoming letters donated to the library, only the volume 1878-1884 remains in the collection.
Wright's notebooks and account books, 1860-1893, contain notes, diary entries, personal and team expenses, box office accounts, game scores, notes on players, and other information kept by Wright as team manager. The scorebooks contain scores and statistics for games played, 1883-1892, while he was manager of the National League's Philadelphia team.
Boxed separately is a small number of photographs of baseball teams and individual players, 1860s-1870s, which were removed from the Chadwick scorebooks and Spalding scrapbooks. Most of the photographs in the Spalding Collection are housed in the Art, Prints, and Photographs Division.
The Spalding baseball collection is arranged in five series: