In honor of Archives Month 2012, the Society of American Archivists-Student Chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will feature stories about unique collections from participating archives and historical societies around the state throughout the month of October.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Green Bay Packers Memorabilia, 1944-1968
When thinking about important aspects of Wisconsin history, admittedly
the rise of professional sports in the 20th century does not
immediately come to mind. However, browsing the Wisconsin Historical Society’s
website led me to a handful of professional sports collections, including a
collection of Green Bay Packer memorabilia.
There is no denying that the Green Bay Packers are an
important part of Wisconsin’s past. In 1919, Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George
Calhoun organized the Green Bay Packers with support from a local packing
company. Since then, the team has won more league championships than any other
professional football team, twice three-peating from 1929-1931 and again from
1965-1967. The Packers are also unique in that they remain the only publicly
owned professional sports team in the nation, which basically guarantees that
the Green Bay Packers will never leave Wisconsin.
By visiting the Wisconsin Historical Society website, any
Packer fan has access to the Green Bay Packer Memorabilia collection available through
the generosity of the Green Bay Packer Organization. The memorabilia collection
covers the years from 1944-1968, with special emphasis on the glory years of
legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Some items from the collection include souvenir
booklets, schedules and rosters, and other assorted memorabilia. The collection
can be viewed here:
Below are some examples from this collection:
Page from Titletown U.S.A. ’61, a special edition of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, 1961
Just as one cannot deny the significance that the Green Bay
Packers’ existence and success has had on the Wisconsin social culture in both
the past and present, one can also not deny that the team will continue to be a
part of the Wisconsin experience in the future. The continued collection and preservation of Green
Bay Packer memorabilia combined with open access to these items is one of many
examples of the Wisconsin idea at work.
More collections covering the Green Bay Packers and other
Wisconsin sports can be found here.
Special thank you to the Wisconsin Historical Society for permission to use images for this blog post.