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University of Arkansas Athletic Photographs

Identifier: MC 589

Scope and Content Note

Materials include photographs, negatives, color separated images, and one brochure


  • Creation: 1904-1980


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)."

Historical Sketch

In 1871 when the University of Arkansas opened, then named Arkansas Industrial University, athletics was an informal affair as students gathered in empty fields to play baseball and football. Later, clubs were formed to gather those who wished to compete. In 1893, an Athletic Association was formed consisting of the Athletic Club (track), Tennis Club, Baseball Club and Football Club. They had a governing council consisting of the presidents of each club and two faculty members. Each club was required to put on one exhibition game per academic term, except for the Football Club, which only played during the fall term.

In 1894, Latin professor (later UA president) John C. Futrall became coach of the football team. The team played three games that year: Fort Smith High School at Fayetteville, Fort Smith High School at Fort Smith, and the University of Texas at Austin. The team won both games against Fort Smith High School but lost to the University of Texas.

In 1901, a faculty committee was formed to monitor student eligibility for athletic competition. Only full time students in good academic standing were allowed to participate. Faculty members had to give periodic reports concerning athletes in their classes. Also in 1901, the university had their first paid coach, Charles Thomas. He was only employed during football season.

In 1908, the university hired its first full-time athletic director and coach, Hugo Bezdek. It was Bezdek who inadvertently changed the team mascot. Originally the cardinals, Bezdek described the Arkansas team in a 1909 game against LSU as playing like a wild band of Razorback hogs. The name caught on and the official mascot was soon changed.

In 1914, Arkansas became a charter member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Arkansas would remain in this conference until 1991, when the school joined the Southeastern Conference.

The athletic program and athletic facilities began to expand when Francis A. Schmidt was named director of athletics in 1922. Schmidt coached all sports. The only gymnasium at this time was used for physical education classes and located in the basement of Old Main. Up to this point basketball was played outside, weather permitting and athletes of all sports dressed in the men’s dormitory Gray Hall. Schmidt saw the need for a freestanding gymnasium and had an old garage moved to campus. This building became known as Schmidt’s Barn and became the headquarters for athletic activities. Also under Schmidt’s direction, a new football field was built. The original football field was located near where the Fine Arts Center would be built and ran east and west. In 1926, the field was turned to run north and south. The track and baseball diamonds were together extending north of the football field.

Another expansion on facilities took place in the 1930’s. In 1937, the Field House was built to house basketball and athletic administration (this building would later become the Faulkner Performing Arts Center). The football stadium was moved to its present location in 1938. The stadium was originally named Carl E. Bailey Stadium. The name was changed to Razorback Stadium after Governor Bailey’s defeat in 1940. This stadium seated approximately 13,200. More seats were added for the 1947 season bringing the seating total to approximately 20,000.

The head of the athletics department was also the head football coach up until 1949. It was in this year that John Barnhill retired from his coaching position but was elevated to the position of Director of Athletics. A new basketball arena was built and named for Barnhill in 1956. Barnhill Arena had seating for 9,000. This was the home of men’s basketball up until 1993 when the new Bud Walton Arena was built.

The program and the facilities have continued to grow. The football stadium, now known as Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, has gone through multiple expansions and seats 72,000. In addition baseball and track have their own state of the art facilities with Baum Stadium opening in 1996, the John McDonnell Field dedicated in 1998, and the Randall Tyson Track Center opening in 2000. Arkansas teams have won national titles in track, basketball and football.


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

The materials are arranged first by sport and then by date. Assorted photographs are placed at the end of Box 2. Oversize photographs follow in Box 3.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Rich Schaeffer through the Athletics Department

Processing Information

Amy Allen and Alexsis Bell

University of Arkansas Athletic Photographs
Amy Allen and Alexis Bell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444