Penn State researcher moves to national archives contest

Mark Dyreson, associate professor of kinesiology at Penn State, is one of eight finalists in the "I Found It In the Archives Contest," a national campaign sponsored by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) to raise awareness about the importance of archives. SAA asked archives users to submit essays or videos detailing their “discoveries” in the archives. The winning entries are at, and the public is urged to cast a ballot through May 15.

Dyreson, working with a group of Schreyer Honors College Scholars sought to substantiate a story about a change of venue in 1940 for an intercollegiate track meet with the Naval Academy based on Navy's devotion to segregation that would have barred an African-American Penn State team member. Although the researchers found documents citing the change of venue, they were not able to substantiate that it was based on race.

Tim Pyatt, the Dorothy Foehr Huck chair and head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State, points out that "Discovering that something cannot be found in the archives can be significant as well."

The winner of the national contest will be announced in June and will receive complimentary airfare to SAA’s Annual Meeting in San Diego in August and two nights stay at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront.

For more information about the Penn State University Archives, go to online.

Last Updated January 10, 2014