Historian of Golf Legend Bobby Jones Donates Research Collection to Emory Library


Sidney L. Matthew, a prominent biographer has donated his entire research collection on legendary golfer Bobby Jones to the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

"My intention was not to be a hoarder of the stuff. I was more of a custodian and my view is everybody should write a Bobby Jones story. This is a great story. I'm interested in the story getting out," Matthew, 62, an attorney from Tallahassee, Fla, said, the Augusta Chronicle, reports.

 The collection of more than 86 boxes represents 25 years of research. It comprises of about 500 original newspaper articles, scrapbooks, magazines, correspondence, photographs, video recordings and memorabilia among others. The uncut interviews with Jones' friends, colleagues and other golfers like Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen are also included.

"Sidney Matthew built this collection to do research for his articles, his books and his talks," Randy Gue, curator of MARBL's modern political and historical collections, said in a statement. "People will be fascinated to see the work that he did. To call him tenacious and dogged in his research is an understatement."

 Jones (1902-1971) is deemed to be the greatest amateur golfer in history. The Atlanta native won the Grand Slam of golf in 1930 and played his first Masters Tournament in 1934 at the Augusta National Golf Club (co-founded in 1931). Jones gave away some of his own archives to the university.

Matthew started researching Jones in the early 1980s after seeing his memorabilia displayed on walls in a law firm without anybody documenting the story.

The fear of losing all knowledge of the legend made Mathew embark on a journey of collecting oral histories of Jones and paying a visit to other golf collectors, Great Britain and Emory (Jones attended three semesters of law school).

"That evolved into about a dozen books and several films," Mathew said. "I started playing a little less golf and did a little more burning of the midnight oil."

Matthew decided to bequeath the collection after his wife threatened to "take the junk to the curb." The lawyer still needs to find a shelter for trophies, golf clubs, balls, bags, artwork, a few manuscripts and other memorabilia.

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