What? Football in the Archives? Go Cyclones!

Tonight is the opening game of ISU’s 2010 football season, with the Cyclones on home turf against Northern Illinois.  In time for the football season, this week the Special Collections Department has opened a new exhibit, in our reading room, on the history of football here at ISU.  The fall exhibit, “Ev’ry Yard for ISU,” tells the story of Cyclone football through the years, using images and artifacts from the University Archives.

The exhibit highlights:

  • The “Original Cyclones,” the 1895 team that beat Northwestern so badly, the Chicago Tribune headed their story about the game, “Struck by a Cyclone.”

    the 1895 football team

  • Clyde Williams, Iowa State’s football coach (1907 to 1913), and our first athletic director.  His motto was “Honor Before Victory,” and he proved it in 1912 when someone sent him a package containing Iowa’s game plan prior to the Cyclone-Hawkeye game.  He said to his assistant coach, Homer Hubbard, “Here are the plays and signals of the Iowa team and here is what we will do with them,” and then he tore them up.

    Clyde Williams Field: ISC vs Iowa in 1920

  • The “Dirty Thirty,” the 1959 team that was small in size and in number, but gave Cyclone fans the best season in 21 years.  They earned their nickname after beating Drake University 41-0 in a rainy season opener.  When the game ended, the team walked into the locker room covered in mud and the team’s trainer, Warren Ariail, proclaimed, “Well, here comes the dirty thirty.”

    1959 football team

  • Our perennial rivalry with Iowa, which began in 1894 and has continued, off and on, to the present.

    ISC vs Iowa

  • The bowl games – ten so far, and we hope more to come.

    Sun Bowl, 1972

  • Artifacts on display include an 1899 letter sweater, commemorative beverage bottles from the 1977 and 1978 Iowa-Iowa State games, bumper stickers from the Peach Bowl and Hall of Fame Bowl, and a football signed by Coach Dan McCarney.
  • And more – come see it for yourself!

In addition to the exhibit, the University Archives holds other resources on the history of football here at ISU.  Although the finding aids for our football materials are still in process and therefore not yet online, we do have a number of records which researchers might find useful.

The archives contains news clippings (RS 24/6/00), football programs (RS 24/6/0/5), media guides (RS 24/6/0/6), and subject files (RS 26/6/1).  The news clippings (covering the years 1895 to the present) include the article which gave Iowa State the name Cyclones (a copy of which is in our reading room exhibit).  The football programs, although an incomplete collection (unfortunately, not all programs ever printed made their way to the archives!) can be fun to look through and see how the teams and programs’ presentation has changed through the years – the first program in the collection is from 1896.  Media guides, which are printed every year for the media, are a wonderful resource for the information about each year’s team, staff and competitors.  Although content changes throughout the years, media guides often include staff biographies (including coaches), player biographies, statistics, and other information.  The subject files contain a variety of records, including football clinic programs, rosters, recruiting books, the pocket sized schedules, souvenir cards, and publications on a variety of topics.

In addition, we have numerous items in our university photograph and artifact collections.  Come on up to the 4th floor of Parks Library and visit our exhibit or request a selection of the records described above to find out about Cyclone history.  The Bomb, Iowa State’s student yearbook,  also provides images and summaries of each year’s highlights.  We’re open Monday-Friday, 8-5.  To find out about our other upcoming exhibits, visit our website.

3 thoughts on “What? Football in the Archives? Go Cyclones!

  1. Pingback: For American Archives Month: An Online Tour of Special Collections! « Iowa State University Special Collections Blog

  2. Pingback: Reliving Old Memories « Iowa State University Special Collections Blog

  3. Pingback: Historic Athletic Team Names – Cyclones definitely included! « Iowa State University Special Collections Blog

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