On November 12, 1904, the University of Tennessee Volunteers played Mississippi in a football game held in Jackson.
To help fans unfamiliar with the relatively new sport understand what was happening after kickoff, the program gave this description: “From this time until the close of the half, both teams are busily engaged in a mighty effort to carry…the ball over their goal line. When the ball is once over this much-coveted line, some player kicks it over the goal and a total score of six points is made.”
This football program and many others are being made available online for the public’s perusal. They are the newest addition to the digital collections on the UT Libraries website, www.lib.utk.edu.
Fans can read about the thrilling victories and crushing defeats, influential coaches and dedicated players of the Tennessee Volunteers. They also can reminisce about UT rivalries, retired Volunteer jerseys, and Smokey’s lineage and adventures. (Did you know Smokey II survived both a dognapping and a confrontation with the Baylor Bear?)
The collection includes programs and guides for home games and postseason games. Visitors to the website can browse by year, coach, guides, or postseason.
The Libraries’ University Archives has a nearly complete collection of Volunteer football programs going back to 1930, as well as a smattering of programs dating from 1904 to 1929. The library is scanning and uploading the programs in reverse order. To date, 246 programs (about 32,000 pages) going back to 1975 are available online.
Library archivists are asking fans who have old football programs among their personal mementoes to lend them to the university so they can be scanned and help fill in the gap of the Libraries’ collection. To help, contact university archivist Alesha Shumar at 865-974-9427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the football programs, visit tiny.utk.edu/football.