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Police Gazette Sports Clippings Scrapbook
When acquired by the University, the clippings in this collection were tipped in to a large (about 40 cm.) scrapbook of some 245 leaves. Because of its bulk and poor condition the book was subsequently disbound; its constituent leaves were separated, mended as necessary, numbered, and rehoused in folders (Hesburgh Libraries Conservation Treatment Report 4475-4170). Neither the original creator of the scrapbook nor the date of its creation is known. The collection includes around 1300 individual clippings, all of which appear to derive from one of three American illustrated weeklies of the late nineteenth century: The National Police Gazette of New York; The Illustrated Police News of Boston; and The New York Illustrated News. Each of these titles is certainly well represented (though many or most of the clippings cannot be attributed to a specific periodical out of hand). All the clippings pertain to sports, especially boxing (which was a familiar subject of the Police Gazette and its imitators). There is also material on wrestling, physical culture/weightlifting, baseball, rowing, and other sports favored by the male, urban, working-class readership of these publications. The great majority of the clippings are illustrations; most are the wood or steel engravings for which the weeklies are best remembered, but some are photographic halftones (a technology these publications began to employ in the 1890s). The greater number of the illustrations are portraits of athletes and other "sporting men," though there are also engraved scenes of competitions, collages of images relating to a specific event, and other formats. Some of the portraits occupy a full page, and there occasional two-page spreads as well. Almost all the clippings appear to date from the years 1883 to 1896. There are four images in color: a two-page color lithograph of James J. Corbett and Robert Fitzsimmons, published as a supplement to the Police Gazette on 15 December 1894 (folder 24); an 1892 New York Illustrated News two-page color supplement of Corbett and John L. Sullivan (folder 38); an 1894 Police Gazette two-page color lithographic supplement of Corbett and Peter Jackson (folder 40); and an 1887 two-page hand-colored engraved supplement to the Police Gazette of Jake Kilrain and Jem Smith (folder 47).