Lauraonlibraries’s Weblog

Let’s Start With a Little Football…

My name is Laura and this blog is a direct result of my enrollment in a graduate level course at the University of Oklahoma called “Digital Collections.” Once a week, I will blog here about different aspects of collecting and organizing information packages digitally. If you’re lucky, I’ll include some entertaining anecdotes from my fascinating life here in East Norman. 

The first assignment is to find three digital collections to share with the class. I had a great time finding these. Everyone loves digital collections. They love them almost as much as they love… OU FOOTBALL! In honor of the Sooners’ 57-2 trouncing of Tennessee Chattanooga, the first digital collection we will inspect is the Photographic History of Sooner Football, housed digitally by the University of Oklahoma Libraries Western History Collections. Only a small part of this huge collection is digitized, but there are still many photos to peruse. I especially enjoyed the Cheerleaders and Mascots section, since it includes a picture of Mex the Dog, who was the OU mascot in the University’s early years. I’m sure he was great with the crowd, and it is part of Sooner lore that on the day he passed, a grand funeral procession was held, and he was interred behind the Sig Ep house where he still rests. Probably a fabrication, but a good story nonetheless.  Also of note, it appears that Pistol Pete, who is shown posing with OU’s now defunct Little Red, was actually uglier in the seventies than he is now. You be the judge.

Those genius librarians at the Western History Collections did a great job picking the action shots to digitize for all the world to see. They included all the greats like Heisman winner Billy Sims, former Congressman J.C. Watts, and Uwe Von Schamann, who is still a Norman celebrity due to the kick, and quite possibly, his beautiful mustache.

The really great thing about this collection of digitized photographs is not just all the amazing Sooner football nostalgia we true fans can soak up without leaving home, it’s the collection in its entirety. It contains 250,000 photos which document nearly the entire history of Oklahoma state since it is only one hundred years old. Although it is not 100% digitized, the Western History Collections’ photographic holdings can be searched through the OU libraries’ online catalog and prints of varying sizes can be ordered directly from the collections.

I know I promised discussion of three digital collections in one post, but all this talk of football has made me in desperate need of a hot dog. I’ll be back later to make good on that promise. Boomer!


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