For the beginning baseball researcher, there are several excellent starting points for becoming acquainted with research strategies, resources, and publications in the field of baseball. Several of these starting points are listed below. Other starting points, such as the Library's online catalog and subscription databases, as well as other websites, are discussed elsewhere on this guide.
Guide to Doing Baseball Research. Society for American Baseball Resarch (SABR).
Perhaps the most important resource for anyone who wants to begin serious baseball research, SABR's Guide to Doing Baseball Research website updates and expands the print guide How to Do Baseball Research (Tomblinson, Gerald, ed. Cleveland: Society for American Baseball Research, 2000).
This online research guide:
- introduces users to important research techniques, including how to use libraries and archives, how to conduct effective interviews, finding and using images, researching players and other figures from the game, and more;
- provides an extensive list of print and online resources essential for conducting baseball research;
- and makes available a number of in-depth articles on how to conduct research on specific topics, such as baseball records, the business of baseball, the Negro Leagues, women in baseball, and more.
Tomblinson, Gerald, ed. How to Do Baseball Research. Cleveland: Society for American Baseball Research, 2000. [catalog record]
Prior to the 2012 launch of its online successor, Guide to Doing Baseball Research, this guide was the primary starting point for anyone interested in conducting in-depth baseball research. The first eight chapters of the book, each written by a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, introduce readers to keys to good baseball research, the value of libraries and archives, important print publications and online resources, and how to locate and analyze baseball photographs. Since a number of the resources discussed in the book are obsolete, researchers should use the online guide How to Do Baseball Research whenever possible.
Smith, Myron J. The Baseball Bibliography. 4 vol. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2006. [catalog record; table of contents]
The Baseball Bibliography is the most comprehensive print bibliography of baseball publications, with more than 57,000 references to resources documenting all aspects of baseball. The 4-volume set is divided into seven major categories (Reference Works; General Works, History, and Special Studies; Professional Leagues and Team; Youth League, College, Foreign, and Amateur; Baseball Rules and Techniques; Collective Biography; Individual Biography) and indexes a multitude of print sources, including books and monographs, scholarly papers, government documents, doctoral dissertations, masters' theses, poetry and fiction, novels, professional team yearbooks, college and professional All-Star Game and World Series programs, commercially produced yearbooks, and periodical and journal articles.
The Baseball Index. Bibliography Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research.
Begun in 1990, The Baseball Index (TBI) is a free online bibliography of baseball literature. TBI includes more than 243,000 references to sources that include books, magazine articles, programs, pamphlets, films, recordings, songs, poems, cartoons, and advertising. TBI is regularly updated by volunteers working with the Bibliography Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research.