In March 1974 the SABR Executive Board authorized the purchase of microfilm copy of The Sporting Life from 1883 through 1917 to start SABR's Lending Library. The purpose of the Lending Library was to facilitate baseball research. The library has grown over the years to include The Sporting News from 1886 through 1963, the Albert Spalding and Henry Chadwick Scrapbooks, various books, Ph.D dissertations, master's theses, guides and videos.
Administrators of the lending library have included Bill Loughman, John Schwartz, Mark Rucker, Tom Heitz, Mark Alvarez, Mike Sparrow, Brad Sullivan, Jean Chapman, and Vanetta Ellis.
The passing of members Howard Lavelle and Al Peterjohn in 1974, both of whom left research material to SABR, prompted the discussion of establishing a SABR Research-Archival Library. Bob McConnell became its initial custodian. Now known as the SABR Research Papers Collection, it is maintained by Len Levin, and now contains nearly 5,000 articles of from one to ten pages.
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