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The South: Culture and History: Sports

This library guide is designed for researchers studying any topics related to the South's culture and history.

Sports in the South

It would be no understatement to say that sports are big in the South!

For a good history of college sports in the South, please see The Manly, the Moral, and the Proficient: College Sport in the New South by Dr. Patrick D. Miller. 

Dr. Miller examines the myth that the martial spirit and traditions of the Civil War gave rise to the fierce SEC competitions in the region.  He includes the quotation: "As their fathers learned of themselves and their leaders how to fight, so have these young men learned of themselves and their leaders how to play football. Conversation between a prominent Virginian and Professor J. M. Bandry, Trinity College [later Duke University], circa 1890" (page 285).

Another great source for sports and Southern culture is "You're Dixie's Football Pride': American College Football and the Resurgence of Southern Identity", Wes Borucki.

For up-to-date news about Southern sports teams, please visit the CSS site, which specializes in covering the region's teams, or try the more general ESPN, LexisNexis Academic , or ProQuest Newspapers.

Sports Records and Statistics

Would you like to know which women's basketball team scored the most points in the 1984 NCAA tournament, or how many tournaments UA has won in a particular sport?  Check out some of these sites to find the answers.

NCAA Stats (start your statistical search here, look in the "record books" to find out about games from past years)

Statistical Abstract (number one librarian-recommended statistics book, gives estimates on how much Americans watch, play, and spend on particular sports)


Other Sites:

Sports Stats

Sports Data

Sports Reference

Sports Museums

Visit these museums in person or online!

Barber Vintage Museum--"Home to the world’s best motorcycle collection, the museum now has over 1200 vintage and modern motorcycles and race cars and the largest collection of Lotus cars as well as other significant makes."  Located in Leeds, AL.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame--"over 5,000 sports artifacts elegantly displayed in the 33,000 square foot building. Out of ESPN’s list of the top 100 athletes of the century, five out of the top fifteen greatest ever are in the ASHOF: Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Willie Mays, and Carl Lewis."  Located in Birmingham, AL.

Paul W. Bryant Museum--the mission of the Paul W. Bryant Museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit items and to disseminate information relating to the sports history of the University of Alabama. Located on the UA campus.


Alabama Athletics

Alabama Athletics

Visit the Alabama Athletics Library Guide if you are researching athletics at The University of Alabama!

Associations for Southern Sports Teams

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

This official site offers manuals, record books, statistics and more.  Tip: Check out the "About the NCAA" section for information about the history of intercollegiate athletics and the Sport-by-Sport Statistics page to search by athlete, coach, or team.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

The official site of the athletic conference of which The University of Alabama is a member.  Tip: The SEC National Champions page lists the years and sports for which SEC schools won National Championships.


These resources offer articles from magazines and newspapers as well as scholarly journals.  One database focusing on the cultural, financial, legal, and other aspects of sports is SPORTDiscus with Full Text.  These others can also help:

Special Collections

W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library

The The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library's collections, housed in UA's Mary Harmon Bryant Hall, include rare books, Alabamiana, manuscripts, newspapers, maps, photographs, book arts, and artifacts.  The Alabama Collection and University Archives include many items related to University of Alabama athletics, such as sports media guides, the Crimson White newspaper, yearbooks, and other University publications and records.  As the Using the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library guide states: "Anyone interested in any aspect of University of Alabama history should visit us first!"

Paul W. Bryant Museum

The mission of the Paul W. Bryant Museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit items and to disseminate information relating to the sports history of the University of Alabama.  The museum's library contains the most extensive collection of archival and published materials about The University Alabama sports in the world, and its website offers information about the history and tradition of UA athletics.


While not exclusively Southern today, NASCAR has its roots in the region and remains particularly popular among Southerners.

NASCAR History--records, statistics, past champions, timeline. 

 America: History and Life--a database of scholarly articles about American history, type in NASCAR to find articles about the cultural impact of racing.  You might also try related terms like stock car racing or motor sports.

History of Stock Car Racing--"Stock car racing was born in the Southern Appalachians and has a colorful past..", a page from Belk Library.

SPORTDiscus with Full Text--a sports science database offering articles on the financial, historical, and current issues about NASCAR.

NASCAR Tracks--viewed from space!

Integration of Sports in the South

Read about the integration of UA sports, and how its integration influenced the rest of the campus, in Changing Tides.

Garden and Gun Sporting Blog

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