Scholars are increasingly interested in how sports connect with history and cultures, and in how sports museums interpret this history. Baseball, often known as “America’s Pastime,” provides insight into American society, including the role of African Americans. This thesis surveys whether the Museum at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York challenges the traditional marginalization of African Americans in baseball. To undertake this project, I conducted research on the history of sports museums, marginalized groups, baseball, and the Negro Leagues. My observations in the Hall of Fame’s Museum include an examination of how African Americans in baseball are being interpreted, and of how much exhibit space is devoted to this interpretation. I also interviewed the Museum’s chief curator seeking his opinion on the representation of African Americans and whether the interpretation of this group at the museum has changed. Sports are an important part of cultures and society, and museums are expected to interpret these cultures inclusively.
Museum Studies (BS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of History (CLA)
Washburn, Carly, "Interpreting African Americans in Baseball: A Case Study of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Museum" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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