Carol C. Bradley | December 8, 2014
“You must have the greatest job in the world!” people often say to George Rugg. He’s curator of the Joyce Sports Research Collection in Rare Books & Special Collections in the Hesburgh Library.
Rugg has a background in art history and for a time studied and taught courses in Early Modern European painting before joining the library. But since he was a boy he says, “I was always profoundly interested in sports, especially baseball. Playing it, reading about it, watching it. I was obsessed with it. And that interest extended to many other sports, including football and hockey.”
The Joyce Collection is an internationally recognized resource in the history, sociology, economics and culture of American sports and their antecedents, Rugg notes, adding that the collection holds no Notre Dame sports-related material—everything University related is held in the University Archives on the 6th floor of the Hesburgh Library.
The collection includes 5,000 book titles alone, plus hundreds of periodicals, photographs (including an important collection of boxing photographs), and tens of thousands of pieces of printed ephemera on athletic sports, physical culture, recreation and leisure, as well as sports literature and journalism. The emphasis is on American sports up to about 1950.