Digitizing the Museum Collection

In 2017, the International Tennis Hall of Fame launched a multi-year project to digitize our vast museum collection that contains more than 25,000 artifacts ranging from trophies and equipment to apparel and personal communications. In addition, there are well over 300,000 photographs, video files, publications, and scrapbooks from tennis legends. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, the public only has access to less than 1.5% of the collection at any given time.

Through the generous support of Dell Technologies, we are transforming the museum experience by making the contents of our museum available online. The Dell EMC Isilon Scale-out NAS storage system will enable us to build a comprehensive digital archive that can be used to engage tennis fans around the globe, encourage online learning, and build new programs that inspire future generations. Visit Business Insider to learn more about how the ITHF is investing in a digital future to grow the sport.

Below is a timeline highlighting our accomplishments to date, and we look forward to sharing our progress toward achieving this extensive endeavor. Want to be more involved and make a direct impact? You can help support this project and the ITHF’s mission with a donation to the Annual Fund. DONATE TODAY >

March 2018

Continuing their efforts to digitize the extensive museum collection, the museum staff began photographing the trophies currently on display in the galleries. There are 230 trophies on exhibit – all of which will be photographed and documented in detail by the end of the month.

Among the trophies that were photographed are a U.S. National Championships women’s singles trophy won by Pauline Betz Addie, a Davis Cup medal awarded to John Van Ryn, a WTA Player of the Year award given to Monica Seles, and Andy Roddick’s US Open trophy currently on loan to the ITHF.

In April, the museum staff plans to digitize noteworthy tennis racquets and tennis ball cans.

January 2018

During the month of January, the museum staff at the ITHF completed the first digitization photo shoot, which consisted of photographing 500 of the approximately 1,000 artifacts in the Fashion Collection. The items included shoes, dresses, t-shirts, polos, jackets, warm-up pants, skirts, coats, and jumpsuits worn by tennis legends throughout the sport’s history.

Next, the photos will be enhanced and uploaded to our Dell EMC Isilon Scale-out NAS storage system and linked through Piction where they will be searchable throughout the organization. Eventually, this platform will be made available to curious tennis fans around the world who are not able to visit the museum in Newport, RI. The bonus for those who have already had the opportunity to explore our museum is that they will be able to view artifacts that remain in our archives.

More photo shoots are scheduled throughout the winter and spring with the remainder of our Fashion Collection being photographed in February and our Trophy Collection in March.

Hall of Famer Ted Tinling designed this dress especially for the Federation Cup in 1976; photographer Jennifer Carter focuses on the details.

Museum Registrar Sara Berkovec prepares one outfit for its photos, with plenty of others waiting in line.

The white and black striped dress with the yellow rhinestone collar was designed by Tinling for Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova. 

These shoes were made by Puma for Serena Williams to wear at the 1999 US Open.

We don’t just have sneakers in our collection. These boots from ca. 1880 were worn by women of the era to play tennis, believe it or not!

Photographer Jennifer Carter gets ready to photograph a shirt worn by Roger Federer at the 2009 Australian Open.

Click through the image gallery at the top of the page to view more.

QUESTIONS? Contact Troy Gowen at tgowen@tennisfame.com or (401) 849-3990 ext. 1118.