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Harlem Globetrotters Collection

Identifier: BKP 670

Scope and Contents

This collection consists chiefly of printed and graphic materials related to the Harlem Globetrotters professional basketball team, including programs, yearbooks, promotional material, and publicity photos. The programs document games between the Globetrotters and various professional basketball teams. The earliest program is from 1941 and the latest program is from 1969. The collection also includes programs from the World Series of Basketball, an annual series of games during the 1950s and early 1960s between the Globetrotters and a team of graduating college All Americans. Programs typically contain pictures and statistics about players, coaches, and other team personnel and advertisements.

The collection includes Harlem Globetrotters team yearbooks from 1947 through 1976. The yearbooks usually include pictures, biographies, and statistics about players, coaches, and other team personnel, in addition to team histories, other stories, and advertisements. The collection also contains Globetrotters promotional material from the late 1960s and early 1970s, including picture mats, photographs, sample press releases, advanced publicity information, press releases and posters.

Formats include programs, yearbooks, press releases, picture mats, photographs, and posters.


  • Creation: 1941-1976


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

With origins on the South Side of Chicago in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters are a barnstorming African American basketball team. Originally associated with the Savoy Ball Room in Chicago, the team eventually became independent and played games around the midwest often against white opponents during these years of strictly segregated sports. After connecting with booking promoter Abe Saperstein, the team adopted the name Harlem Globetrotters. Early on, the Globetrotters incorporated aspects of showmanship, trickery, and humor into their style of play. Despite the amusing antics to entertain the crowd, the Globetrotters signed many of the best African American players in the country and were a very talented serious basketball team throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In famous game in Chicago in 1948, the all-Black Globetrotters beat the all-white Minneapolis Lakers, the best team in the professional Basketball Association of America. After the highest levels of professional basketball—including the National Basketball Association—integrated during the 1950s, the Globetrotters lost some of their top players to formerly white teams. The Globetrotters, known as “the Magicians of Basketball,” began then to focus more on entertainment and have extensively toured the country and the world playing tens of thousands of games.


1.5 Cubic Feet (3 document cases (letter-sized))

Language of Materials


Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556