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African American Golf History Archive

As the global repository for golf’s shared history, the USGA Golf Museum and Library is committed to elevating diverse perspectives. Over the last decade, the Museum has remained dedicated to preserving and celebrating the African American experience in golf by collecting artifacts and library materials, uncovering stories, producing exhibits and symposia, and creating the African American Golf History Archive in 2015

Newspaper Research Resources: Bibliographies and Subject Terms

The importance of chronicling the game’s place in Black culture and its broader impact on African American communities spurred the creation of resources to aid researchers in their analysis of two of the nation's longest running and most widely circulated African American newspapers. From 2014 to 2023, the Museum pursued the collection and cataloging of all mentions of golf in the Baltimore Afro-American (1898-1988) and the Chicago Defender (1909-1975).

The bibliographies and subject terms covering nearly 18,000 indexed articles have the power to greatly impact the world’s understanding and scholarly study of the African American experience in golf. Terms include general themes as well as any person, place, course, club, city or tournament mentioned in the article. This enhances a researcher's ability to explore specific people or places, or alternatively, themes such as race, class, gender, politics, sports, leisure, competition and education in the United States throughout the 20th century.

About the Newspapers

At the foundation of this project are African American newspapers, a rich resource on the African American perspective during a time of misrepresentation and discrimination. Research resources are available for the Baltimore Afro-American from 1898 to 1988 and the Chicago Defender from 1909 to 1959. The nation’s longest running African American newspaper, the Baltimore Afro-American served as the ultimate record of local Black experiences and provides insight into which national stories were important to these Eastern communities. The Chicago Defender, hailed as the most influential Black newspaper in the country, had a wider circulation and provided Southern and Midwestern communities information on the struggles of integration. Both papers were uniquely written for African American audiences and explore diverse facets of Black communities.

Baltimore Afro-American: Newspaper Bibliography and Subject Terms

Nearly 8,700 articles spanning 1898 to 1988 are captured from the Baltimore Afro-American and included in the Bibliography. The Subject Terms include approximately 10,500 terms. To download a sample of the Baltimore Afro-American Bibliography or complete Subject Terms from the African American Golf History Archive please see below:

        Baltimore Afro-American: SAMPLE Bibliography - 1925 (For complete Bibliography (1898-1988), please contact

        Baltimore Afro-American: Subject Terms

Chicago Defender: Newspaper Bibliography and Subject Terms

Nearly 8,500 articles spanning from 1909 to 1959 are captured from the Chicago Defender and included in the Bibliography. Of these articles, those from July 1909 to July 1939 have been analyzed, and all terms added to the List of Terms. To download a sample of the Chicago Defender Bibliography or complete Subject Terms from the African American Golf History Archive please see below:

        Chicago Defender: SAMPLE Bibliography - 1911 (For complete Bibliography (1909-1959), please contact

        Chicago Defender: Subject Terms (July 1909 - July 1939)

For research assistance, or questions about Bibliographies or Subject Terms, please contact

Accessing Articles

Patrons of libraries, major research institutions and universities around the world can access complete cover-to-cover full-page and article images of the Baltimore Afro-American and Chicago Defender, should their library subscribe to them.

The following institutions are among many that maintain a subscription to the digitial newspaer archives of the Baltimore Afro-American and Chicago Defender: 

  • Baltimore City Archives
  • DC Public Library 
  • The New York Public Library

Information and Ephemera 

The African American Golf History Archive contains a variety of information on people, organizations, events and places critical to the history of African Americans in golf. The archive includes magazines, programs, clippings, correspondence, meeting minutes, reports and club histories organized by subject matter. The archive’s contents have been greatly enriched by generous donations of research materials by Dr. Calvin Sinnette, as well as papers and artifacts by William Dickey and the family of Charlie Sifford.  

Materials are organized according to the following subjects:

  • History of African American Golfers
  • Biographies of Golfers
  • Discrimination and Racism
  • Tournaments and Championships
  • Junior Golf
  • Golf and Country Clubs
  • Golf Reference
  • Associations
  • Periodicals and Ephemera
  • Charlie Sifford Scrapbook Collection


We hope to continue to expand these materials to provide a more comprehensive and representative resource. Please contact with any suggestions of subjects that should be included in this archive.

Artifacts in the Museum Collection

Collecting artifacts that chronicle and communicate the stories and experiences of historically underrepresented groups in golf is one of the Museum’s primary foci.

The Museum’s collection of artifacts related to African Americans in the game spans from the turn of the century to the present day. Figures important to the history of golf, sports, politics and American culture are represented in the collection, including Joe Louis, John Shippen, Althea Gibson, Ann Gregory, Jesse Owens, Sammy Davis Jr., Lee Elder, Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods, Jackie Robinson, William Wright,  Walter Morgan, and Barbara Douglas, as well as works by artists Dox Thrash and John Holyfield. More than 200 artifacts related to Charlie Sifford's professional career and personal life were donated to the Museum in 2024

Please contact Rosemary Maravetz ( should you have any questions regarding the Museum collection.