Douglas Stark’s career has been focused on making the history of sports more engaging, relevant, and accessible to a wider, more diverse audience. He has worked to accomplish this as a museum professional and author and speaker on sports history.
Douglas Stark was appointed Museum Director of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in June 2008. The museum is the world’s foremost in the study and interpretation of the history of tennis and its impact worldwide. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
Under his leadership, the museum underwent a $3 million renovation to the visitor experience in 2015, initiated a long-term digitization project of its entire collection along with award-winning online digital exhibits, continues to grow its world-class collection of tennis memorabilia, develop national and international traveling exhibits, and elevate its profile and reputation nationally and internationally. He has successfully directed the museum’s pursuit of accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (2013 to present), resulting in the International Tennis Hall of Fame becoming the first sports hall of fame to be accredited. He oversaw acceptance of the museum as the first independent sports hall of fame to be named a Smithsonian Affiliate (2017 to present).
Alongside the interpretation of tennis, Stark is focused on the preservation of the Newport Casino (home to the museum) which is a National Historical Landmark. His efforts have led the museum being awarded the Stewardship Award by Preserve RI/ The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (2019), and the Doris Duke Preservation Award by the Newport Restoration Foundation (2020). He successfully directed the Tennis Hall of Fame’s accredited (AIA RI) architectural symposium for eight years (2010 to 2017) that focused on the careers of McKim, Mead & White, Richard Morris Hunt, Peabody & Sterns, and Horace Trumbauer among others.
From 1998 to 2008, Stark worked at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the United States Golf Association Museum in Far Hills, New Jersey, where he was part of capital projects that re-conceptualized and rebuilt two sports museums. His experience has included strategic planning, financial management, project management, collections care, content and exhibit development, branding and messaging, product development, programming and outreach, and audience development.
He is a past President of the Board of the New England Museum Association (NEMA). He currently serves as a consultant to two new sports museums under development--The Sailing Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, and the International Marathon Center in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. He has been an adjunct professor and lecturer in the Museum Studies Program at Harvard University. In 2016, he received the International Sports Heritage Association’s (ISHA) W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Award for Meritorious Service.
A native of Massachusetts, Stark is a graduate of Brandeis University where he received his B.A. in American History with a minor in the History of Art. He pursued graduate studies at New York University where he earned an M.A. in American history and dual certification in Museum Studies, and in Archival Management, Historical Society Administration and Historical Editing. He holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in non-profit management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
He is the author of several basketball books including:
He is currently working on The Original March Madness: The 1939 World Professional Basketball Tournament and a book about Jewish Basketball Cards.
He is the co-author of Tennis and the Newport Casino published by Arcadia Publishing in 2011. He is also a contributing editor to Interpreting Sports at Museums and Historical Sites to be published by Rowman & Littlefield in conjunction with the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH).
He has written and spoken on sports history and museum practices.
As a graduate of Brandeis University, he assists the Friends of Brandeis Athletics with virtual programming of the university’s athletic history. While a student, he covered the basketball team for The Justice, the student newspaper. He also wrote about the historical relationship between Brandeis University and the Boston Celtics.
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