In March 1974 the SABR Executive Board authorized the purchase of microfilm copy of The Sporting Life from 1883 through 1917 to start a lending library for SABR members. The purpose of the Lending Library was to facilitate baseball research. The library grew over the years to include The Sporting News from 1886 through 1963, many issues of Baseball Magazine, the Albert Spalding and Henry Chadwick Scrapbooks, various books, Ph.D dissertations, master’s theses, guides and videos.
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Administrators of the lending library included Bill Loughman, John Schwartz, Mark Rucker, Tom Heitz, Mark Alvarez, Mike Sparrow, Brad Sullivan, Jean Chapman, Vanetta Ellis, Eileen Canepari, and Deb Jayne.
The passing of members Howard Lavelle and Al Peterjohn in 1974, both of whom left research material to SABR, also prompted the discussion of establishing a SABR Research-Archival Library. Bob McConnell became its initial custodian and later it was maintained by Len Levin. At its peak in the early 2000s, the SABR Research Exchange contained nearly 5,000 articles of from one to ten pages.