New Victory for Old Basketball

Archives to Digitize Historic Films, Video
by Liam Farrell | Photo by John T. Consoli. Historic Basketball photo courtesy of University Archives

Boxes stacked in a cool room of Hornbake Library are filled with time machines. Pick the right one and you’ll be taken to Greensboro, N.C., circa 1974, with Len Elmore battling David Thompson for the ACC title. Pick another and it will be 1986, Chapel Hill, with Len Bias overthrowing No. 1 North Carolina.

The man who helped make those moments happen—Coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, who made Maryland basketball, Maryland basketball—wants to make sure future generations can always go there. So last year, when visiting with UMD archivists Anne Turkos and Amanda Hawk, he donated 72 videotapes and 65 film reels spanning 1969-86.

“We had a lot of great teams, a lot of great players, a lot of great fans,” Driesell says. “Young kids, they never saw Len Elmore play, or Tom McMillen or Len Bias.”

His collection supplements 1,200 reels at the library and is the catalyst for a new $500,000 fundraising effort to digitize all basketball footage in the archives. This new cache of highlights, practice footage, interviews and game tape is critical in filling in the gaps for some of the most important years of the program’s history, says Hawk, the university’s athletics archivist.

“Not every game was on TV,” she says. “It’s possible some of these reels are the only copies available.”

The project mirrors an earlier effort that put more than 950 reels of Terp football online. Besides fans and researchers, Hawk says, former players benefit as well from having a chance to capture footage of their playing days and share it with family and friends.

“We’re all about making things accessible,” she says. “What’s the point of having it here in a box?”

For more information about supporting the basketball digitization project, contact Athletics Archivist Amanda Hawk at or 301.314.3287. You may also make a gift to the project online.


Glenn Chamberlain

How do I access the football archives. I played back in the late 1970's.

Jennifer Burns

So awesome! Thank you Lefty... can't wait to relive those games!


Hi Glenn, We do have materials documenting the football team in the University Archives, mostly statistics, photographs, and other game day information. I'll send you an email directly to assist further. Thanks for reaching out! Amanda

Jim Orban (class of '74)

Now with streaming video, all of these videos could and should be made available online for all of us Terp fans to re-live! Thank you, Lefty!

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