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University Archives digitizes historic Terrapin football games

Posted: Dec 13, 2011

Out-of-date Warning This news post is more than three months old and may contain out-of-date information.

The uniforms may not have been as colorful, but the play on the field was just as tough, and now former Terrapins and fans of Maryland football can watch gridiron exploits of the past online.  The University of Maryland Archives announces the release of digitized historical Terrapin football footage in its image repository, University AlbUM, The first 477 reels, including games from 1946 to 1979, are available for viewing 24/7.

With the support of the Terrapin Club, M Club, Maryland Gridiron Network, many former Terps, and Maryland fans, the Archives contracted with Scene Savers, a professional archival services company located in Covington, KY, to preserve the films.

“I am so delighted that we are now able to share this significant portion of the University of Maryland’s athletic heritage on campus, across the state, and around the world,” said University Archivist Anne Turkos.  “It’s a thrill to be able to watch such Terrapin greats as Randy White, Jack Scarbath, and Boomer Esiason in action.  It’s also a huge relief to know that the content of these fragile historical treasures has been preserved for all time.”

Jonathan Claiborne, the Terps’ color analyst on their gameday broadcasts, son of a former Terps head coach, and a member of the Terps’ squad from 1975 to 1977, is a major supporter of the project.  Claiborne congratulates the UM Archives on pushing this project forward and says, “It is such a special treat to be able to view the games played in years past by going to the UM Libraries’ internet link, and to share that experience with friends and family.  The history of the program really comes through when you view these game films from the past.” 

For now, the University Archives has defeated Father Time and the advance of chemical deterioration for this first batch of film.  But there is more work to be done.  The Archives hopes to raise an additional $20,000 to complete digitization of all the football film in its holdings from the 1946 to 1989 period, as well as an additional 100 reels of footage recently donated by Terrapin alumni and fans.  The additional funds will also be used to ensure the preservation of the digital copies of the films in perpetuity.

For more information about the project or to donate additional film, contact Anne Turkos (301.405.9060, To make a financial contribution to support this preservation effort, contact Joan Patterson (301.405.4676, 

A short promo about the film project is available at:

The University Archives is a part of the University of Maryland Libraries, the largest academic library system in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area. The eight-library system supports the teaching, learning and research needs of University of Maryland students and faculty.