In December 1891, Dr. James Naismith rigged up an elevated peach basket in a Springfield, Massachusetts gymnasium – and the game of basketball was born. Now, nearly 125 years later, we celebrate Dr. Naismith’s innovation with the third round of the OCLC Research Collective Collections Tournament. We are down to four conferences … did yours make the cut?
Competition in the Round of 8 goes to the very roots of basketball: which conference collective collection has the most materials published in the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts?* The Atlantic 10 came through as the big winner, with more than 2,300 publications originating from Springfield. Conference USA was close behind with more than 1,900 publications, winning handily over our erstwhile tournament Cinderella, Big South. After bracket-busting victories over the mighty America East and Big Ten conferences in earlier rounds, Big South could not get past Conference USA in the Round of 8. So the clock has struck midnight, and Big South’s fairytale tournament run has turned back into a pumpkin. Summit League and Missouri Valley join the Atlantic 10 and Conference USA in the next round.
Springfield, Massachusetts boasts much more than the honor of being the birthplace of basketball:
- Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born there (visit the Dr. Seuss Collection at the University of California, San Diego’s Geisel Library).
- Merriam-Webster, Inc., publisher of the eponymous dictionary, is headquartered in Springfield (visit the Warren N. and Suzanne B. Cordell Collection of Dictionaries at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library, to which Merriam-Webster donated 500 volumes).
- The Milton Bradley Company, maker of such classic games as Chutes & Ladders, Twister, and Candyland, was founded in Springfield in 1860 (visit the George M. Fox collection of rare children’s books at the San Francisco Public Library, which began as the archives of a publishing company acquired by Milton Bradley in 1920).
Needless to say, the works of Dr. Seuss, Merriam-Webster, and yes, even Milton Bradley, are part of the conference collective collections competing in this tournament!
Bracket competition participants: Remember, if the conference you chose is now watching the tournament from the sidelines, there is still a ray of hope! If no one picked the tournament Champion, all entrants will be part of a random drawing for the big prize!
The tournament semi-finals are next! Results will be posted April 3.
*Number of publications in conference collective collections that were published in Springfield, Massachusetts. Data is current as of January 2015.
Brian Lavoie is a Research Scientist in OCLC Research. He has worked on projects in many areas, such as digital preservation, cooperative print management, and data-mining of bibliographic resources. He was a co-founder of the working group that developed the PREMIS Data Dictionary for preservation metadata, and served as co-chair of a US National Science Foundation blue-ribbon task force on economically sustainable digital preservation. Brian’s academic background is in economics; he has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics. Brian’s current research interests include stewardship of the evolving scholarly record, analysis of collective collections, and the system-wide organization of library resources.