Rare memorabilia on display at the CC Morris Cricket Library

The CC Morris Cricket Library, residing at Haverford College and located near their cricket field, is named after C. Christopher Morris, an American cricket player, who played for the Haverford College cricket team in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The commemorative library opened in 1970 and is the largest collection of cricket literature and memorabilia in the western hemisphere. 

Cricket playing in Philadelphia dates back to early 1800s and Haverford College students started playing in the 1830s.The library's collection was supplied by some of the older cricket players, who each realized that they had memorabilia and books, specifically related to the game of cricket in Philadelphia. 

The library houses a number of original and rare pictures of cricket teams and players from the 1800s, as well as bats from that time period that were used by popular players, like Don Bradman, an Australian international cricketer, and Bart King, an American cricketer who played for Philadelphia in the late 1900s. Some of the bats on display are signed by the players and marked with the scores of the matches when the bats were used.

The collection also consists of trophies, ties, and blazers. Pictures of cricket players in Philadelphia adorn the walls of the library, as well as pictures and from famous players and teams that came from countries like the United Kingdom and Australia that toured in Philadelphia. There are pictures of the Young American Cricket Club (YACC) in 1868, cricket clubs in Philadelphia, and pictures of notable players on the field, including Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, who played for the English Cricket team, and W.G. Grace, who was important in the development of the sport and is widely considered one of its greatest-ever players.

The library has a wide collection of keepsakes from Bart King. Mr. King held the English Bowling Record in 1908 at 11.01 – a record that stood for 50 years. To this date, it is still the second lowest runs per wicket ever. Many of Mr. King’s trophies are also displayed in the library. One trophy that was awarded to Bart King is a box with five cricket balls on top of it, representing specific matches in which Bart King bowled extremely well.

Several of C. Christopher Morris' brothers also played cricket, including his brother, HH Morris, who played in China and his blazer, which is the only known remaining blazer from the Shanghai Cricket Club, hangs in the library collectibles.

Click here to view photos from our visit to the CC Morris Cricket Library.


Article written by Alisha Mehta on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association