A True Team Effort: Unveiling the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive

On the Friday night before Baylor’s homecoming win against Missouri, a team of Electronic Library staff and graduate assistants unveiled an exciting new project to the 30-year reunion of Baylor football’s 1980 Southwest Conference championship-winning team.

The project: the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive, a unique partnership between the Electronic Library, Baylor Athletics, and Baylor’s Institute for Oral History. Established to collect, preserve, and display materials related to Baylor’s 100-plus history of collegiate sports, the Archive was rolled out at the reception for the 1980 team, hosted by their legendary coach, Grant Teaff.

(The BULAA landing page at www.baylor.edu/lib/athleticsarchive)

Presently, items in the Archive are focused on Baylor football, specifically the Grant Teaff era from 1972 to 1992. The Grant and Donell Teaff Baylor Football Collection makes up the bulk of the collection at this time, with a special emphasis on the 1980 team that clinched the SWC championship and clashed with the University of Alabama in the 1981 Cotton Bowl.

The Archive features hundreds of photographs, promotional items, posters, videos, and audio clips that tell the stories of the athletes who represented the Green and Gold in athletic events of all types. The ultimate goal of the project is to collect and display materials from every sport Baylor athletes have participated in since the school’s founding.

Feedback from the attendees was uniformly positive, with several players responding with excited disbelief when they heard their photo was in the Archive. During several demos to 1980 team members, the men would begin to recount stories: memories of a particular game, nicknames of teammates, remembrances of important events, even wisdom imparted on them as 20-year-old athletes by Coach Teaff.

It is these personal reactions to the materials in the Archive that quickly reveal the impact this Archive can have on anyone interested in not just the history of Baylor athletics, but also the personal stories of the men and women who used their physical prowess to support their alma mater.

We hope you’ll take a moment to browse the Archive and relive some of the amazing moments in Baylor athletics history you’ll find inside. The 400+ items available now are just the beginning of the important work to come, so check back often.

Photos from the event

Tim Logan, Assistant Vice President for the Electronic Library, demos the Archive on a large-screen display for an attendee.

Graduate assistant Rachel Carson, from the BU Museum Studies program, demonstrates the Archive to a member of the 1980 team.

Graduate assistant Hannah Mason, a BU Journalism student, demonstrates the Archive.

Digital Collections Consultant Eric Ames demos the Archive for Dr. Ken Matthews, running back (#20) from the 1980 Baylor football team.

Eric Ames and Darryl Stuhr, Manager of Digital Projects (right), pose with coach Grant Teaff.

To view the Archive, visit www.baylor.edu/lib/athleticsarchive. If you’d like to help expand the Archive by either loaning or donating materials or by providing financial support, contact Eric Ames (eric_ames@baylor.edu).

Photos of BULAA unveiling event by Allyson Riley.

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