This collection contains 20,122 negatives related to sports at Duke, and they range in date from about 1924 to 1992, 1995 and undated. The sports represented are as follows: baseball, basketball, boxing, cheerleading, cross country, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, wrestling, and volleyball. There is a series for general athletics, which tends to include images of physical education instructors or coaches from all sports. There is also a series called "Undetermined," which lists individuals for whom no sport or tie to athletes could be determined.
The subjects within each series include athletes, coaches, athletic staff (such as secretaries and trainers), team pictures, game shots, trophies, and athletic fields and facilities. The athletes may have been photographed in uniform, in suits, or in letterman sweaters. They may have been photographed with family and/or friends. Oftentimes, the athletes were posed in faux action shots.
There are not very many images of women athletes, but there are some available, including a small number of images of Women's Athletic Association members playing baseball (not softball), basketball, and tennis.
The Sports Information Office Photographic Negatives collection are arranged alphabetically by sport. There are between 1-5 subseries per sport: Individual Athletes/Coaches/Staff, Groups, Teams, Games, Miscellaneous.
The Individual Athletes/Coaches/Staff subseries reflects the organization and identification imposed on the negatives by the photographer(s). Each person per sport is in alphabetical order. It was noted during processing that surnames were sometimes mis-spelled. Resources such as the school's yearbook (The Chanticleer) and the alumni directory were used to try and determine the correct spelling. There are also non-standard spellings of first and last names throughout the collection. Additionally, if a person was photographed with one other, those negatives appear in this subseries.
The Group subseries reflects negatives where more than two people are photographed together or groups of unidentified individuals. The identification for each group is listed in the order it was printed on the original acidic negative sleeve.
The Teams subseries provides images of individual teams from any given year. They may include full teams or partial teams, such as "relay team" or "long-distance team."
The Games subseries contains images of games, matches, practices, etc. Although it is noted that not every sport participates in "games," the term is used throughout for consistency sake.
Lastly, the Miscellaneous subseries generally includes negatives where the subject matter doesn't fit in any of the other series, and include images of facilities, trophies, football crowds, and band formations.