About the Daily Racing Form
The Daily Racing Form began publishing as a 4-page newspaper in 1894 in Chicago. Originally, the Form reported the results or "form charts" of horse racing at major tracks in the United States, Cuba, and Mexico. In 1971, the Daily Racing Form absorbed the entertainment broadsheet, The Morning Telegraph, to become the Eastern Edition of the Daily Racing Form. The Western Edition emerged in 1984. Today, the DRF publishes over 2,000 pages of editorial and statistical content 364 days a year.
About the Archive
The Daily Racing Form collection at the Keeneland Library comprises approximately 3,700 hardbound folio volumes in 3 editions representing more than 113 years of racing history. Included are the Eastern, Midwestern, and Western editions of the Daily Racing Form as well as the long-established entertainment broadsheet, The Morning Telegraph. When The Morning Telegraph ceased in 1971, the Eastern Edition of the Daily Racing Form became the premier daily representing the tracks on the east coast.
In 2007, the Keeneland Association and the University of Kentucky Libraries formed a partnership to develop a preservation plan for the Keeneland Association's nearly complete collection of the Daily Racing Form and its predecessor title, The Morning Telegraph.
With funding from Keeneland and research by the University of Kentucky Libraries, a pilot project sampled DRF volumes from 1896 through 1991 to develop the best approach to converting the fragile newspapers into a searchable digital archive.
The preservation process involves separating the bound newspaper books into separate pages and carefully analyzing page order and physical condition. Some very fragile DRF issues, particularly those from the 1930s through the 1950s, require very careful attention, while some of the earliest volumes and the newer volumes can be prepared rather quickly.
After the physical preparation, a combination of microfilm and digital imaging is used to create the online archive. Software programs transform the images into searchable text. Today, you can search for names, places, or subjects and retrieve an exact digital replica of the newspaper page on your computer.
UK continues to research different methods to develop an interface to address the unique look and feel of the Form as its physical layout, news coverage, statistical data, and page count evolved from 1894 to the present. What was a simple 4-page broadsheet in 1896 became, by the 1990s, a publication that produces over 2,000 pages a day in many diverse editions, serving an enormous audience. UK's research has developed workflows that suit each decade of publication and thereby capture the relevant information at the lowest cost possible.
Learn even more about this project by viewing the following article via National Public Radio (NPR):
Or, view our video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/_uzNtdb7Vwk
Site designed and developed in 2016 by Eric Weig, Digital Library Architect at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center.
Legacy site developers in 2008 included Kathryn Lybarger, Michael Slone, and Eric Weig.
The Daily Racing Form Historical Archive is a collaborative project between the Keeneland Racing Association and the University of Kentucky Libraries
This site's content is managed by Becky Ryder at Keeneland Racing Association Library.