Football Collection

The IISOH Library plans to develop a comprehensive collection of literature on the sport of American football. Since it developed from British rugby in the 19th century, there was a similarity at first, but when the forward pass was permitted the game changed dramatically. As a very popular college sport it was so important that in 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt became involved in its further development. The sport was so dangerous that college students were dying from injuries so he threatened to outlaw the game, and from this threat the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was born. We estimate a bibliography of over 100,000 books exist on the subject of American football.

Within the subject area of football there are different topics for which collections can be built. For example the origins of American football are in British rugby so the collection seeks 19th century literature that covers rugby and its influence on Americans. Then there is the enormous subject area of American College football. With over a thousand universities in the USA our work is to obtain everything on the history of football from all these universities, programs, media guides, images of football teams and players – a veritable ocean of information. An endowment could be created just on College football and even on single universities such as Notre Dame or UCLA football. Such individual endowments would necessarily have a minimum of $1,000,000 for naming rights. Then there is Professional Football – with teams that no longer exist as well as the present enormity of Professional teams. The IISOH would like to have a separate endowment for each professional team. There are other topics within the subject such as football equipment, football and law, and midget football for young kids. All of these areas need collection development.

The IISOH Museum will seek to collect a wide range of memorabilia as well as build various football fields and exhibits for performance and play. The Museum will house collections of memorabilia in traditional museum style and also maintain all the sports facilities that serve to educate the public on the history of the game through active participation and play. The entire sports campus is part of the Museum.  This is a Museum for the past, the present and the future. The Museum also participates in research projects, specifically to conduct and support research that promotes the safety and health of the game’s participants