Russell Library Launches Baseball Card Database

September 25, 2009 – 2:48 PM

Introducing a new Russell Library Database of Vintage Baseball Cards from the Collection of Senator Richard B. Russell. Among the largest private collections of turn-of-the-century tobacco cards held by a public institution in the United States, Senator Richard B. Russell’s boyhood baseball card collection is one of the hidden treasures of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia.

The Russell collection contains over one thousand baseball cards produced by the American Tobacco Company between the years 1909-1911. The tobacco cards in the Russell collection offer a rare, private glimpse into the lifelong passions of a very public figure. Library staff discovered these keepsakes neatly stacked in cigar boxes and stored on a top shelf in the senator’s bedroom closet. His estate executors decided to include them as part of his larger research collection at the Russell Library and to offer the public an opportunity to enjoy these delightful objects as well.

The development of this site was a collaborative effort among present and former staff members of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the Digital Library of Georgia, and the University of Georgia Libraries Systems department. Baseball scholar, Albert Kilchesty curated the original Legends of the Dead-ball Era exhibition of Senator Russell’s baseball cards, and served as a consultant throughout the development of this database.

To explore the Russell Library’s baseballgraphic new baseball card database, please go to


  1. 4 Responses to “Russell Library Launches Baseball Card Database”

  2. I loved baseball cards as a kid, I didnt know they were published by tobacco companies (no wonder a lot o people have picked up the habit).

    Anyhow, its good that they posted this online. That saves us all, baseball enthusiasts, a lot of trouble driving down to GA just for some vintage baseball cards. I’m mainly interested in how the uniforms have evolved throughout the years so I’ll use the site as reference from time to time.

    By Pete Saunders on Oct 22, 2009

  3. As an avid card collector and enthusiast, I appreciate this reference. I plan on using the Russell Library as a reference for future research for my collection..

    By Paintless Dent Repair on May 24, 2010

  4. Interesting article! Baseball cards have always intersed me as they were much easier to collect, store and display. However, for some unknown reason I ended up collecting autographed baseballs which aren’t!


    By Sam Ward on Jun 14, 2010

  5. The Russell Library is absolutely amazing what a collection. It would be so amazing for some of this collection and historic cards to become part of Topps Bunt digital cards. It would be a great way to connect the new era of cards to newer collectors. What a rich history.


    By Keoni on Jul 16, 2015

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