The International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum, housed in the historic Newport Casino,Â is an uncommon example of sporting excellence.Â Â The entire history of the sport, dating fromÂ the 12th Century through today,Â is chronicled within its 18 galleries.Â The Museum encompasses over 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, momentous videos, and popular memorabilia of tennis champions past and present.Â The Museum's permanent collection alone contains over 15,000 objects. The Library and Information Research Center has upwards of 5,000 books; overÂ 1,000 tapes and films; more than 100,000 photo images, and an abundant collection of magazines, programs, periodicals, posters, and personal player memorabilia.
American tournament tennis began in 1881 in Newport, Rhode Island --Â more thanÂ 125 years ago --Â when the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships were played.Â This tournament, which evolved into today's US Open, was played at the Casino until 1915, when it moved to Forest Hills, New York. However, Newport's historic tennis tradition continues each summer when the Hall of Fame presents the only professional tennis events played on grass in the United States. The Hall of Fame is truly distinguished from other sports museums because tennis is still played on the groundsÂ and virtually every historic champion has graced its beautiful grass courts.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1954, originally named the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame,Â and was sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association (known then as the USLTA).Â Only Americans were inducted until 1972, when the field was opened to include members from other countries.Â In 1986, it was renamed theÂ International Tennis Hall of Fame, and was recognized as the official Hall of Fame by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis.