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The Sports Recorder

Archivist Preserves UMD Athletics History

By Charlie Wright


John T. Consoli

John T. Consoli

The boxes and film reels stacked outside the Hornbake Library office of Amanda Hawk MLS ’13, M.A. ’13 resemble a garage sale, a pile of discarded memories that have long since lost usefulness.

But upon closer look, any Terp would realize that these boxes hold treasures, as each is labeled with a familiar name: “Lefty Driesell.”

Hawk is UMD’s first athletics archivist, in charge of documenting Maryland’s athletics history, gathering collections and artifacts such as the former basketball coach’s game tapes, answering more than 220 reference questions a year and working closely with the athletics department on history-related projects like Hall of Fame inductions and throwback uniforms.

While in graduate school, Hawk worked under University Archivist Anne Turkos, who advocated for the creation of the sports archivist position in 2014. 

“I wanted to work in archives for a long time, since I’ve been an undergrad, but I would never have imagined being in this particular position,” says Hawk. “I think it was just the right opportunity at the right time.”

One recent endeavor was digitizing football films from the 1940s to 1989, sending them to special vendors and providing access to the final product. 

Hawk credits her job with getting her more interested in sports. She has season tickets for Maryland women’s basketball and is trying to see a game of every sport, with men’s lacrosse next on the list.

Hawk typically works in anonymity, but her contributions are evident across campus. She is responsible for supplying the photos and verifying statistics depicted on the parking garage and concourse of the recently remodeled Maryland Stadium. Hawk created several McKeldin Library exhibits, including one about Queen Elizabeth II’s attendance at a Maryland football game in 1957, and provided historical photos which served as the inspiration for the throwback uniforms worn by the football team in 2015 against Penn State.

“With archives, you’re almost always behind the scenes doing stuff. I’m usually not credited or acknowledged somewhere, but it’s fun to see how it all turns out,” says Hawk. “I have the email saved of me sending suggestions to the Under Armour people for those uniforms. To see them real and on the field was pretty cool.”

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