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American Football League (AFL) Team Media Guides Collection

Identifier: FBP 541

Scope and Contents

This collection contains media guides published by teams in the American Football League (AFL). The annual guides published prior to each season generally included a review of the previous season (including statistics), a preview of the upcoming season (including schedules and opponent information), and photographs and bios of players, coaches, and staff. Other content sometimes included broader material about the history of the franchise, information about the city, and other information for members of the media. Some guides contain information about other personnel associated with the team like cheerleaders. Some guides contain advertisements. The media guides tend to become larger, longer, and more substantial through the years.

Formats include media guides.


  • Creation: 1960-1969

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

Media guides—also known as press guides or “dope books”—originated by the 1930s as a way for sports teams to provide information to members of the press about their teams, players, coaches, schedules, and other topics. Originally typed, mimeographed, and stapled sheets, the guides evolved dramatically after World War Two to highly informative trade paper publications available to the public. By the early 21st century, many teams began replacing printed guides with online guides.

Founded in the late 1950s, by investors who were unable to obtain franchise in the established National Football League, the American Football League formed during the late 1950s. The AFL was in direct competition with the NFL during the early 1960s, with leagues bidding on players and sometimes raiding rosters in the other league. By 1966, owners in the NFL and the AFL reached an agreement for cooperation and collaboration between the two former rivals. The first championship game—later renamed the Super Bowl—occured in January 1967, and the two leagues fully merged in 1970.


.75 cubic foot (1 document case (letter size) 1 half-document case (letter size))

Language of Materials



Media Guides are arranged alphabetically by the latest geographical location of the franchise and then chronologically.

January 2024
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