The Australian Rules Football (AFL) section of the Bishop Collection's Sport Archives is a compilation of books; collectors' trading cards; magazines; various objects: memorabilias, football tickets, grand final dinner menus and tickets, players' autographed jerseys; photos; postcards; posters and flyers; and stamps. There are all together 3789 items (2024-06-30), 465 of these have been personally signed by the most celebrated players and coaches of the era. The Collection represents 4492 players.

Year range: 1905-2019.

It is difficult to measure the value of the Bishop Collection’s Sport Archives for AFL. This amount would be considerable as it represents an overall and concise chronological collection of cards and artifacts.

The vast majority of the items is trading cards, a comprehensive collection of 3383 card-sets which represents the AFL trading cards' history. The conception the AFL Collectors’ trading cards have been sponsored by a variety of groups: tobacco and chocolate manufacturing companies (e.g., WD & HO Wills, Hoadleys Chocolate), food companies (e.g., Kornies, Scanlens, Twisties, Stimorol, Hungry Jacks, Coca Cola, Pizza Hut), and other companies and organisations (e.g., Herald Sun, Mobil, Optus) until the 1990s, when SELECT became the major sponsor and created consolidated card collections in 1993 with an organised approach. It is now possible to collect entire annual sets from one source. These annual sets of SELECT include different series and a wide variety of centenary and limited editions. Individual sponsors also continued irregular distribution.




To showcase the highlights of our card sets, the Collection's Sport Archives' AFL Section has been divided into four eras: 1905-1959, 1960-1979, 1980-1992, 1993-2019. Discover our selections of various trading cards. Please enjoy!

The Bishop collection contains a wide range of regular cards; holographic cards; case cards; medal cards; rookie cards; premiership predictor cards; and premiers cards including caricatures of the champion teams.

Also in the Collection are various sets containing autographed cards of legends: players and coaches who have had a medal created in their honour by the AFL: John Coleman, Norm Smith, Ted Whitten, Jock McHale, Graham Moss, Alex Jesaulenko, Leigh Matthews, and Ross Glendinning.

Use the badges below to browse the lists of the medal winners and Hall of Fame inductees who are represented in the Bishop Collection!