State Library of South Australia

Bradman Collection

"Some years ago I donated a quantity of cricket memorabilia to the State Library... This will be of interest to cricket lovers and hopefully to a wide cross-section of viewers.

Some of the items, particularly the Royal Worcester vase, are of great intrinsic and historical value. I only parted with the vase after much soul-searching but in the end my family felt it to be so valuable that the safety and security of a public collection was essential...

I commend the Library for its work in connection with this project."

~ Sir Donald Bradman, 1992

 

Bradman Collection

 

Online collection

The State Library has made the Bradman Collection available via a dedicated website, a Flickr set and an iPad application.

Website

Visit the Bradman Collection website 

 
Visit the Bradman Collection website
  

 Flickr

      Visit the Bradman Collection Flickr set      

 

Bradman ball resized

 

 iPad App

Download the free Bradman Collection iPad
app via iTunes

 
Download the free Bradman Collection appvia iTunes
 

The Bradman Collection app, powered by code from the Europeana Open Culture app, takes access to collection highlights a step further. With newly created photographs of Sir Donald's personal treasures curated into three themes (Kit bag, Mementos and Photographs), visitors can access these significant items whenever and wherever they choose. View the media release for information about the app.

Physical collection

The State Library of South Australia's acquisition of the Bradman Collection began in the late 1960s when the State Librarian, Hedley Brideson, approached Sir Donald about donating his collection of memorabilia to the Library.

The first part of the donation was the creation of 52 scrapbooks documenting Sir Donald's cricketing career from 1925 to 1948. The State Library retains a duplicate copy of the scrapbooks, whilst the original collection of albums is held at the National Library in Canberra.

In later years Sir Donald gave the Library more of his valuable collection of memorabilia, in total more than 150 items including trophies, bats and balls, tape recordings and cricketing apparel.

The collection was displayed in a permanent exhibition at the State Library in Adelaide between 1986 and 2007. In 2007 negotiations with the Libraries Board of South Australia, the Bradman family and the Government of South Australia resulted in the Libraries Board agreeing to lend a selection of Bradman collection items to the Adelaide Oval.

Forming part of the State Government supported 2013 Adelaide Oval redevelopment, a new cricketing museum was opened by South Australian Cricket Association which prominently features several items from the State Library's Bradman Collection. All items have been meticulously cleaned, conserved and protected prior to their installation, and the State Library, along with Artlab Australia will continue to conserve these items, donated to the State Library by Sir Donald, preserving his legacy for the people of South Australia and the world.

The State Library's Bradman Collection remains the ultimate research resource covering his illustrious career from 1925 to 1948.

Some key statistics

Opponent  Matches  Innings  Runs  High Score  0s  50s  100s  Average 
Tests 
England  37  63  5,028  334  12  19  89.79 
India  715  201  178.75 
South Africa  806  229*  201.50 
West Indies  447  223  74.50 
Total test statistics
 
52  80  6,996  334  7  13  29  99.94 
Total Sheffield Shield statistics   76   114   10,561   452*   6   23   44   108.87 
Total first class career statistics
 
234  338  28,067  452*  16  69  117  95.14 

* = not out. These statistics are part of a comprehensive record of Bradman's cricket career which appears in Roland Perry's book The Don, 1995. Note: Not all first class innings are represented in this table

Career highlights

27 August 1908  Donald George Bradman born at Cootamundra, New South Wales (NSW). 
1911  Moves to Bowral, NSW, with his parents and four older siblings. 
1919  Plays in his first cricket match at Bowral High School, scoring 55 not out. 
1926  Makes 234 for Bowral against Wingello. Finishes season with an average of 101.3.

 
Invited by NSW Cricket Association to attend State practice at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). 
Joins St George District Cricket Club in Sydney, and makes 110 on debut against Petersham. 
1927  Plays his debut Sheffield Shield match for NSW, against South Australia (SA) at the Adelaide Oval, scoring 118. 
1928  Plays his first Test match, against England at the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane, making 18 and 1. 
Relegated to 12th man for the second Test - the only time in his career that he is dropped. 
1929  Included in the Australian team for the third Test against England, scoring his maiden Test century. 
1930  Makes 452 not out for NSW against Queensland, then a world record in first-class cricket. 
During his first tour of England he scores 334 against England at Headingley, then a world record Test score. He finishes the five Test series with a total of 974 runs at an average of 139.14. 
1931  Makes his first 'duck' in Test cricket, bowled for 0 by West Indian Herman Griffith at the SCG. 
1932  Marries Jessie Menzies. 
1934  Suffers acute appendicitis while on tour in England and remains there for months to recuperate. 
1935  Moves from Sydney to Adelaide to commence a career with an Adelaide stockbroker. 
Appointed captain of SA cricket team, leading them to victory in the Sheffield Shield. 
1936  Appointed captain of the Australian team. 
1939  Son John is born. 
1941  Daughter Shirley is born. 
1945  Appointed to Australian Cricket Board. Remains on Board until 1980. 
1947  Scores his 100th first-class century, making 171 in a tour match against India at the SCG. 
1948  Plays in his last Test match in Australia, against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). 
His fourth and final tour of England, during which the Australians remain undefeated. 
Plays his final Test match, at The Oval. He is dismissed by Eric Hollies for 0. 
Plays in the Bradman Testimonial match at the MCG. 
1949  Plays in his last first-class match, for SA against Victoria at Adelaide Oval. 
Knighted at Parliament House, Melbourne, by the Governor General, Sir William McKell. 
1960  Appointed Chairman of the Australia Cricket Board, 1960-1963 and again, 1969-1972. 
1965  Appointed President of the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA). Remains in role until 1972. 
1979  Made a Companion, General Division, in the Order of Australia. 
1986  Retires from all roles with the SACA, ending of his official involvement with cricket. 
1997  Lady Bradman dies, aged 88. 
2000  Selected as one of Wisden's five 'Cricketers of the Century'. 
25 February 2001  Sir Donald dies in Adelaide, aged 92. 

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