University brings old school football to the web

UM hopes to archive more football games once funding is secured.

University of Maryland (UM) football diehards will have something to watch even after their team’s final regular season game Nov. 26, thanks to archivists who are digitizing Terrapin pigskin footage from the recent – and not so recent – past.

Officials from the archives of the College Park, Md. campus said Nov. 11 that the school would release the first 772 reels of UM football film converted to the web, available for students, faculty, and fans to view 24 hours a day.

The archives game footage spans from 1946-1979, and includes film from the first-ever game played at famed Byrd Stadium, where, in 1960, the Terps played the rival Navy Midshipmen.

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“It’s … a huge relief to know that the content of these fragile historical treasures has been preserved for all time,” said Anne Turkos, the university’s archivist. “I am so delighted that we are now able to share this significant portion of the University of Maryland’s athletic heritage on campus, across the state, and around the world.”

The football images will be posted alongside archived material from commencement speeches to images of student life on campus over the past 150 years – all part of the University AlbUM based in College Park.

UM becomes the latest large university to save its massive loads of archived material on the internet for public consumption.

Yale University officials in May said the school would provide free online access to digital images of millions of objects housed in its museums, archives, and libraries.

The school’s archivists teamed up with the Maryland Gridiron Network, a group of football program boosters, and a professional archival service based in Kentucky, according to UM’s announcement.

Completing the arduous task of converting old film to internet video will keep the footage viewable even after the film is ravaged by chemical deterioration.

But the university is hoping to raise another $20,000 for the second part of the archival project: converting football games up to 1989, along with another 100 reels of footage donated by UM fans and alums.

When the Yale digitization project was announced, officials said no license would be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use, which will allow scholars, artists, and others around the world to use Yale collections for study, publication, teaching, and inspiration.

Yale claims it’s the first Ivy League school to make it collections available in a comprehensive online archive.

The school has harvested 1.5 million records from all its catalogs and digitized 250,000 of them, which are available through a newly developed collective catalog.

Yale expects the 1.5 million records to grow much larger as it continues to harvest its catalogs.

Researchers will be able to examine individual items online in detail and compare objects from different collections side by side.

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