The Hockey Hall of Fame first opened its doors in the summer of 1961. Its mandate is to collect, archive and exhibit the ongoing history of hockey. This history is comprised of trophies, memorabilia, equipment and pretty much any object that is related to the sport.
Since its inception, the Hockey Hall of Fame has faced its fair share of obstacles in its attempt at preserving hockey’s history and keeping it accessible to the public. The most recent of these obstacles has come from the simple fact that collections only get bigger. With the exponential growth of the Internet as an information tool, digitization of the collection became a high priority. As such, a digitization strategy was created not only to help organize the collection, but more importantly, to allow a greater number of people and organizations access to its contents.
The D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre & Archives opened at the MasterCard Centre in September of 2009. The 18,000 square foot facility is the home of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s vast artifact and archival collections and serves as the focal point for research into the history of Canada’s great game and cultural export. It is the most comprehensive archive in the world dedicated to collecting and preserving any and all materials related to the history of hockey. The Resource Centre houses items in the archives when they aren’t on display at the Hall or part of a traveling exhibit. Currently it contains more than 26,000 published hockey books, programs and guides; approximately 10,000 individual player files (including photos, contacts and other items); 1 million negatives and slides, 32,000 photographs and 4,000 film reels. The collection also contains 4,000 hockey sticks, more than 1,500 jerseys, and over 3,000 pieces of equipment. This archive is in a constant state of growth and continues to collect objects at an astonishing pace.