Burdick Collection- Digital Collection (baseball, women, tobacco)


For my Digital Collections, I found the Burdick Collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. I stumbled across an article about the Digitization project as part of my weekly baseball articles roundup project, and it caught my eye as a massive project to digitize the collections donated by Jefferson Burdick, with “the baseball card collection is a mere fraction of the 303,000 cards, postcards, cigar bands and other paper items Burdick donated to the museum.” It is an interesting peak into the dominant popular arts, sold mostly through tobacco packs in the 19th Century.

The one that caught my eye was a team of women baseball players. It is uncertain if the team was real or if they were just models for advertising. Their uniforms do not seem to be what I typically pictured of women’s “bloomer” teams of the 19th century, with skirts, but with pants and standard uniforms, which stands apart from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s-50s, who were miniskirts with little leg protection. They also do not have gloves,  which harkens back to the game standards of 1870s and prior, which points to that the game was still in the period of standardization and as such some teams used gloves and some did not.

The collection is fairly easy to use and access. You can sort by the type of item, date, title, relevance, collections/company. The main thing I would alter would be to put a function where you can display the entire collection of baseball related items, as they are mixed in with larger advertising collectables with all sorts of actors and models, as well as athletes.


I am a 1st Year PhD History student with interests in leisure theory, sports cultural and social histories especially baseball, and labor history. I am from Philadelphia, having received my BA and MA at Temple University. I have worked in libraries as well as having taught as an adjunct instructor, in addition to involvement in various social justice movements and organizations. I like Star Trek, hanging out with my dog and cats, recording a baseball podcast (Sliding Into First) and listening to a variety of podcasts, and doing field research (also known as going to baseball games.) I've also been known to homebrew beers and take care of stray cats.

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