Finding Aid Friday: Boxing Edition

This weekend, fans of the fistic arts and the pugilists that are the focus of their love will be gathering in Canastota, New York, for the International Boxing Hall of Fame‘s induction ceremony.

In honor of the event, today’s brief Finding Aid Friday is focused on the sport of gentlemen: boxing.

The archivist who got this collection, and was one of my professors in grad school, is a HUGE boxing fan. (Brooklyn College Library)

The be-all and end-all of boxing finding aids (and well-processed boxing collections), in my opinion, is the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive. I’ve written about it (and referred to it) a few times and I. Love. It. There’s no shame in my bias.

A stick-figure rendering of me going through the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive.

The finding aid has its own portal with access point, subgroup statement, and container holdings pages. It does employ frames, so if you hate frames or use a browser that does, your experience may be hindered a bit. But the frames do have a purpose: it allows users to simultaneously view the sub-group arrangement hierarchy while clicking their way around the various sub-group statements (the same goes for the container holdings). There’s minimal need to open new tabs or go back and scroll to where you were on the previous page.

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Fun fact: Harold Lederman, judge and analyst, is getting inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame this weekend! (Brooklyn College Library)

But it is useful, you ask? Yes. Yes, it is.

How do I know?

My focus for two days o’ research and geeky joy. Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive, Brooklyn College Library, Brooklyn, NY.

Because I’ve used it!


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A very good, straight-forward, finding aid with lots of scrolling. (Stark Center)

The Albert Davis Boxing and Sport Photography Collection, held by the University of Texas-Austin’s Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, has another great boxing collection and finding aid. It’s a straight-forward, scrollable document that gives a good overview of the collection. I really appreciate the item level descriptions in the finding aid. It’s  incredibly helpful to look down the container list and see all those names and dates.

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Stark Center

The best part is that highlights from the collection can be viewed in an online exhibition. It’s not linked to the finding aid (as far as I can tell), and that’s a shame because the online gallery is a great enticement for researchers me researchers and fight fans alike.



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