Recreation and Sports Research Guide

Articles from Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Times


Many of the State Historical Society’s holdings are included in the SHSMO online catalog. The Society holds numerous books and periodicals on the history of sports and recreation in Missouri. The broadest subject terms to search under are “Sports” and “Recreation.” More specific searches can also be done, such as “Outdoor recreation.”

Digital Collections

Editorial Cartoons

The State Historical Society of Missouri’s collection of editorial cartoons began in 1946 with an important donation of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The collection has now grown to more than 8,000 works and includes many other well-known cartoonists such as Bill Mauldin and Tom Engelhardt. The works graphically and often poignantly reflect attitudes and opinions on contemporary local, national, and international events. Most of the cartoons in the Society's collection that touch upon the sports and recreational activities were drawn by Fitzpatrick and Engelhardt.

Historic Missourian Biographies

The State Historical Society's Historic Missourians website holds biographies on sports journalists Jack Buckand Harry Caray. The website also has a category devoted to athletes in Missouri. Each biography includes images, primary resources, and other references for further study.


The State Historical Society of Missouri manuscript collections contain papers and records of individuals and organizations involved in or promoting professional and amateur sports, as well as other leisure activities. As people acquired more leisure time through advancements in technology, both amateur and professional sports began to take off in popularity. Missourians also sought entertainment through amusements like the circus and movie theaters, as well as outdoor recreational activities such as camping or hunting. Examples of these collections include the Missouri Park and Recreation Association Records, an organization whose members sought to promote the general welfare of the people through a recreational program, and the Kansas City Monarchs Oral History Collection, a collection including interviews and correspondence of individuals associated with the Negro National League team.

View All Recreation and Sports Manuscript Collections


Photographs of Missourians participating in sports and outdoor recreational activities can be found throughout the Society’s photograph collections. Documented activities and sports include baseball, boxing, wresting, bowling, camping, and picnicking.