Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fantastic 19th Century Harvard Base Ball Photos

Harvard's connection to Providence's base ball history goes back to June 27, 1863, when they became the Brown club's first intercollegiate opponent. So I'm particularly excited about the 19th century photos that the Harvard University Library has put online and happy that Kyle DeCicco-Carey tracked them down and brought them to my attention. It is an excellent set of team photos and includes the best and earliest photo of a game in progress (Harvard-Yale 1885) that I've seen, including one that appears to capture a pickoff move to second base.

What's astonishing though is the resolution of the photos. These presumably were taken by a highly skilled photographer using a full size plate negative. The scans are of equally high quality, so vintage base ball geeks like myself can zoom into see the texture of socks, construction of belts, the funky leather visor on a 1898 catcher's mask, the ratio of bowlers to boaters in the crowd, and innumerable other details. It is not so much like looking at the original prints as like looking at them with a microscope. Awesome!

1 comment:

Kyle said...

I actually picked some of those images to be digitized. I don't think we have any images relating to Providence and Harvard baseball but I will take a look when I get a chance.

I updated the image of Lowell on my site so it is a little better quality (not as good as the Harvard scans though)