Photograph Collection

The Photo Archives at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library captures every aspect of the game of baseball. It depicts the broad diversity of people on the field, the places they played, and the action of the game. The 250,000 photographs housed in the Photo Archives document more than 150 years of baseball history, visually recording the game’s place in American culture.

The collection features images of Hall of Famers and MLB stars as well as players in the women’s and Negro leagues, and on barnstorming and amateur teams. The photographs capture the faces of all the people who contribute to the game on and off the field: the players, umpires, and managers; scouts and coaches; officials and executives; photographers, writers, and broadcasters; vendors, mascots, and ticket sellers; and baseball fans. The images show them as individuals, interacting in groups, and posed for team portraits.

The photograph collection documents major and minor league stadiums, illustrating changes in ball park architecture and locating stadiums within disparate cityscapes and landscapes. The images show the construction and demolition of structures. They capture grandstands, bleachers, and neighboring rooftops filled with cheering fans and adorned with bunting. The collection contains photographs of sandlots and games played in front of the Great Pyramids, on the bed of the Panama Canal, and in combat zones.

The photographs capture the day-to-day beauty of the game in play as a pitcher releases a ball, a batter steps up to the plate, or a runner slides headlong into a base. They depict players sitting in the dugout, celebrating victories, giving interviews to the media, and signing autographs for fans. The collection contains images illustrating the whole baseball season, from contract signings to spring training, through the regular season to the World Series.

Baltimore's Terrapin Park, Opening Day of the Federal League, April 13, 1914 - BL-7389-85 (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Consisting of a wide variety of photographic formats, the collection depicts the changing world of baseball in black and white, color, and sepia. It includes albumen, gelatin silver, and chromogenic prints, as well as tintypes, film and glass negatives, color transparencies and slides, and digital photographs.

It incorporates images created for a variety of uses including news and wire service photographs taken and distributed for publication in newspapers; publicity shots issued by the teams; images captured by professional sports photographers; classic posed portraits used by baseball card manufacturers; and images taken by fans.

Picturing America’s Pastime illustrates the breadth and depth of this remarkable collection. Some of the exhibition photographs and others chosen by our curatorial and research staff may be viewed in the Online Exhibit and in “Short Stops.”

Online Photo Exhibitions

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Access to the Photograph Collections

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To access our photographic collections during your visit to the Hall of Fame, please make your request at the information desk of the A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center. Researchers coming to the Hall of Fame are urged to make appointments at least a week in advance.

To schedule an appointment, contact:

Cassidy Lent, Reference Librarian

607-547-0330
Email


For researchers who are unable to visit the Giamatti Research Center in person, the Photo Archives' knowledgeable staff is available to help you with your image research inquiries, or rights and reproductions requests.

Kelli Bogan, Photo Archivist, Manager of the Photo Archives

607-547-0372
Email

John Horne, Coordinator of Rights and Reproductions

607-547-0375
Email

Photo Archives
National Baseball Hall of Fame Library
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

On-line access to the photographic collections is limited. However, an increasing number of records describing the Hall of Fame’s photographic collections are available on the on-line catalog ABNER.

PASTIME

Explore the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in PASTIME.

Digital Archive Project

We need your help to digitize priceless treasures that have been preserved here in Cooperstown. Make a gift today to help ensure that fans around the world can have online access to the Museum collections and Library archive.

Photographic Reproductions and Rates

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Many of the photographs in our collection are available for reproduction. Our staff will gladly send a limited selection of photocopies or low resolution digital files for your review. All photograph reproduction rates are per image and are subject to change. A check, money order or credit card will be accepted for all orders.
Prepayment is required.

Rates for high-quality b&w or color photographic prints (unmounted) for personal use:

8×10 inches: $25.00
11×14 inches: $45.00
16×20 inches: $65.00
Shipping & handling: $6.95

Hall of Fame members receive a 10% discount on reproductions and free shipping.

Rates for editorial or scholarly use:

Please contact the Photo Archive staff for digital reproduction and publication permission fees.

Donations to the Photo Archives

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The collection is built entirely through donation and continues to grow through the generosity of numerous people who are willing to make their baseball images available to the public for research, publication, exhibition, and the personal enjoyment of fans. To discuss possible donations, please contact the photo archivist.

More About the Library

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