Ghosts in the Library of Congress?

Ghost Player LLC, in collaboration with The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, is preparing a historical video archive of the Field of Dreams Ghost Players for permanent access on the Internet, for researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public, including adapted data for people with disabilities. The Internet archive will make the history of the Field of Dreams Ghost Players available worldwide. DreamCatcher Productions LLC (DCP), based in Dyersville, IA is spearheading the project to organize the stories for upload. "We are looking for the proper fit for the historical material," said Joe Scherrman, owner of DCP and producer of the Ghost Player movie. "We are looking at the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections, which is an online repository of Iowa history and culture, maintained by the State Library of Iowa. We are also looking at a company called Internet Archive which collaborates with institutions including the Library of Congress. Internet Archive is interested in hosting the archive as part of its Internet Library."

The Ghost Players Collection is a series of video clips taken of the Ghost Players events and travels between 1988 and 2008. The Ghost Players originated as the brainchild of Keith Rahe from Dyersville. Some of the Ghosts were the ball players who played small parts in the movie Field of Dreams. Mr. Rahe, through his organization and creative skills, made possible the world travels and adventures of the Ghost Players. Since the movie’s 1989 release, they have played exhibition games, performed comedy routines, taught kids’ baseball clinics on the Field of Dreams and at ballparks around the country and the world. The movie Field of Dreams, the Ghost Players, and the field itself have become important cultural reference points in Iowa. The Ghost Players officially disbanded at the end of 2007, although they occasionally step out of retirement for fundraising events.

The archive began with more than 200 hours of VHS, S-VHS, 8MM, and DV videotape, which has been digitized and painstakingly reduced to about 60 hours of material that deals directly with the Ghost Players and their activities and travels. Each file in the collection is tagged and named with source tape identity and date (where known). In addition, a team of interns spent many months applying search words to each clip. These are currently available in separate data fields for people involved, location, specific activities, and in many cases short descriptions and transcripts.

The Ghost Player archive was a 2-part project, started in 2008 and completed in 2010, and was funded-in-part-by grants from the Iowa Community Cultural Grant Program (Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs) and the Historical Resource Development Program (Historical Society of Iowa). Additional support came from the Targeted Industries Internship Program (Iowa Department of Economic Development) and The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The successful goals for the project included: (1) collecting the over 660 hours of known video footage, editing and digitizing all relevant material in order to preserve, make accessible and organize, and (2), prepare a documentary video in order to historically present the activities of the Ghost Players baseball team in an entertaining, educational and inspiring manner. The movie has received more than 20 awards and is in demand for film festivals, for television broadcasts, and is available for theater screenings.

Sponsors DreamCatcher Community Foundation Low and Inside Metro Studios Case IH