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Football, Men's Athletics Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RG-39-05-00

Scope and Contents

The football records include photographs, records, memoirs, publications, audio, film, and video recordings. Scrapbooks that document the history and development of the football program are also included. The bulk of the photographs are of the early teams and players spanning the 1890s through the 1950s. Among the publications are gameday programs dating back to 1907, media guides dating back to 1951, and others such as Huskers Illustrated. Also included in the football records are the Bob Devaney Scrapbooks and the memoirs of Fred Dawson, who was the coach from 1921 to 1924.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1890-

Biographical / Historical

The University of Nebraska football program officially began in 1890, although interest in football started as far back as 1883. Nebraska played their first game on November 27, 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska, against the Omaha Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.). Nebraska prevailed 10-0. Langdon Frothingham lead the team and is the first football coach at the university. Frank Crawford became the first paid football coach. He arrived in 1893 following two seasons when volunteers or players lead the teams.

Through the years the program has been a member of several athletic conferences including: the Western Inter-State University Foot Ball Association, the Missouri Valley Conference, the Big Six Conference, the Big Seven Conference, the Big Eight Conference, and the Big Twelve Conference.

Most people know the Nebraska athletic programs as the Cornhuskers or Huskers, but before that nickname stuck the team went by some lesser known names such as the Nebraskans, the Old Gold Knights, the Antelopes, the Tree Planters, the Rattlesnake Boys, and the Bugeaters.

The first football game played at Nebraska's current venue, Memorial Stadium, pitted the team against Oklahoma on October 13, 1923. Before Memorial Stadium, games were played at a few different locations. Prior to 1908 the northwest corner of the "old campus" served as the athletic field. In 1908 the university acquired land for a new athletic field just north of the "old campus," around 10th and T streets. Teams first used the "new" Nebraska Athletic Field in the 1909-1910 season. In the interim, the 1908-1909 season's games were played at the Antelope Baseball Park in Lincoln.

For more detailed online histories of the Football program, see the University of Nebraska Athletic Department's Football History and Nebraska Public Media's "Husker Century 1890-1972 The First 82 Years."


5.00 Boxes

Language of Materials


Related Materials

The Daily Nebraskan/Hesperian. The sport of football has been a popular topic in the student newspaper, finding mention as far back as 1883.

The University of Nebraska, 1869-1919: Semi-Centennial Anniversary Book. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1919.

Ware, Frederick, and Gregg McBride. Fifty Years of Football: A Condensed History of the Game at the University of Nebraska. Omaha: Omaha World Herald, 1940.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries Repository

Archives & Special Collections
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
P.O. Box 884100
Lincoln NE 68588-4100 United States