Nation’s Library Launches Baseball Resources Site

A vintage card collection and a baseball web conference on April 4 highlight the Library of Congress’ new Baseball Treasures web site.

The rich and unique holdings of the Library of Congress include many items that document the history of baseball and Americans’ fascination with the game. Through photographs, personal accounts, official games guides, newspaper accounts, films and memorabilia—including baseball cards dating from 1887—the Library’s collections offer a first-hand look at the development of baseball in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

America’s Library salutes America’s favorite pastime with the launch of a new resource page: Highlighted are select Library resources on the popular sport, including player profiles, historical news and events, collection guides and presentations and more.

The library’s baseball card collection includes 2,100 cards dating from 1887 to 1914. Cigarette card collector Benjamin K. Edwards preserved these baseball cards in albums with more than 12,000 other cards on many subjects. After his death, Edwards’ daughter gave the albums to noted poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg, who donated them to the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division in 1954.

The multimedia baseball web site also offers easy access to a sampling of visual images, including photographs of notable baseball figures and subjects. There are selections of audio and video presentations, such as Webcasts of lectures, as well as unique sound artifacts. These resources are only a small portion of the 134 million items in the Library’s extensive holdings.

In conjunction with the site, the Library’s Digital Reference Team (DRT) will host a web conference, "Batter Up! Baseball at the Library of Congress," on April 4 at 2 p.m. EDT. To attend, go to the Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) at

To participate, follow these instructions:

From the Quick Links column on the left, choose Auditorium.
Click the "Download Here" button in the light blue rectangle in the center of the screen.
Follow the directions to download and install the plug-in.
Click the link in the orange rectangle to enter the room.
A gray box will appear with text asking permission to launch an external application, web conference plug-in. When the grayed-out text "Launch application" becomes black, click the Launch application button.
Type your name for the conference and click "Log on" to enter the online conference.
Allow yourself time to download the small software plug-in needed to participate in the conference. Depending on your network security requirements, you may need assistance from your local technical support group to download and install the plug-in. Actual installation should be very quick, depending on your computer and connectivity. All that is needed is a computer with an Internet connection, sound card and speakers. A microphone will enable you to speak to the group.