This is a collection of scrapbooks, dating from 1936-1985, kept by Otto Graham’s mother and wife over the course of his illustrious career. The collection is arranged in a rough chronological order. The books can be divided into seven major groups: high school, Northwestern University, Navy and pre-flight school, Cleveland Browns, Coast Guard and All-Stars Teams, Washington Redskins, and general (see list below). Some of the scrapbooks cover a range of these topics, and were organized under whichever group was most heavily featured.
The collection also includes eleven folders of scrapbook pages that had been removed of numerous scrapbooks. The pages are organized by theme and date and are placed within boxes with complementary materials. The vast majority of the items preserved within the pages of these books are newspaper clippings mainly focusing on Graham’s athletic career. There are also clippings having to do with other members of the Graham family as well as photos, greeting cards, advertisements, napkins, ticket stubs and other ephemera from the more than 50 year span.
Scrapbook 45 entitled “Redskins Book III” contains a profile of the Graham family which mentions the scrapbooking efforts of Graham’s wife, mother and daughter. It states “the three feminine members of the steak-eating, football playing family…are Redskin rooters and scrapbook keepers.”
Some of the final books, scrapbooks 52-56, are extremely varied in their theme and span over 30 years in date range. These books seem to serve as catch-alls for material that did not make it into previous books. Throughout the collection there are a number of items that appear many times. For example, advertisements or extensive profiles which feature Otto Graham can be found as many as five times in the collection.
Each book contain a few photos interspersed between the newspaper clippings but scrapbook eight (1943) has numerous photographs of young Otto Graham and his soon-to-be wife, Beverly Collinge, while he was in the Navy and she studying at Northwestern.