As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ballgame - At Fenway

I can’t say I spent my day working on my blog. Instead I was in Boston, enjoying a hot June afternoon in the city with my children. The highlight was a tour of Fenway Park where we sat in the Monster ("Monstah") seats for the first, and probably the last, time. I did manage to come up with some blog fodder from my visit to MLB’s oldest ballpark. The Internet Archive features a digitized copy of George V. Tuohey’s work A History of the Boston Base Ball Club: A Concise and Accurate History of Baseball from its Inception. After perusing that 200-plus-page work, which was published 113 years ago, I realized that Tuohey was writing about the National League’s Boston Red Stockings, later known as the Beaneaters, and finally the Boston Braves. The Braves franchise would move to Milwaukee from Massachusetts in 1953 before heading to Atlanta in 1966.

Okay, so maybe Tuohey wasn’t writing about our beloved American League Red Sox. Still, I was struck by his description of the euphoric atmosphere in the city following the Boston National League team’s successful 1897 season.
“Boston was baseball crazy, and every man, woman and child in the city was imbued with a healthful spirit of local pride that speaks well for the Boston Baseball Club.”
It sounds a lot like the atmosphere around here in October of 2004 and 2007.

This little piece of baseball history also points to the value of The Internet Archive. The archive’s website describes it as “... building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.”

In the archive, you’ll find digitized texts from libraries around the world, video recordings, sound recordings, live music recordings, archived websites and much, much more. If you’re stumped on where to find a primary source, give it a try. You might be surprised by what you turn up. Time and time again it's proved helpful to students I work with.

The picture above was taken by me on Tuesday afternoon. It shows the Fenway grounds crew preparing for that evening's game against the Devil Rays.

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