Exhibit highlights 25 years of sports archives at Penn State

"Glory Days: Celebrating 25 Years of Sports Archives at Penn State,” an exhibition, is on display in June 19–Sept. 19, in Robb Hall, Hintz Alumni Center, Penn State University Park. Horace Ashenfelter, Wally Triplett, Mary Ellen Clark, John Montgomery Ward, Sue Whiteside – the names of such Penn State athletes remind the visitor to the newly installed Hintz Alumni Center exhibit of the role of sports in helping Penn State achieve national recognition.

Long before joining the ranks of the Big Ten, Penn State was concerned about the ways in which shifts in the organization and governance of athletic programs have affected its reputation for excellence; but without access to primary archival sources, it is impossible to answer such academic research questions. In 1988, the Penn State University Archives, a unit within the Special Collections Library, began a concentrated effort to locate historical records that would document the growth of athletic policies and the achievements of Penn State’s numerous teams. The resources were discovered in Rec Hall, the White Building, Beaver Stadium and other athletic facilities awaiting organization, arrangement and description, and access to users of all categories.

This photographic exhibit highlights the historical and recent achievements of all 31 current varsity sports, as well as four additional sports no longer on the varsity roster. The goal of the Sports Archives has been to establish a unique repository, unrivaled in scope, to serve scholars and administrators, graduate and undergraduate students and sports enthusiasts. Operating in cooperation with Intercollegiate Athletics, the Sports Archives includes more than 12,500 audio-visual items beginning with the 1929 Penn State-University of Pennsylvania football game. The collection also features footage of the historic 1948 Cotton Bowl, selected basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling and gymnastics events since 1950. Complete game-by-game, reel-by-reel inventories have been compiled and are available at: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/speccolls/psua/sports.html.

The Sports Archives collections also include biographical information about individual athletes, photographs, media guides and press kits, materials related to special events and historical records concerning the rise of women’s intercollegiate athletics and the impact of Title IX, for example. Complementing these collections are archival records of the Women’s Recreational Association, College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, International Society of Biomechanics, North American Society for Sport History and much more. Additional highlights feature extensive book collections from John Lucas documenting Olympic history and Ronald A. Smith focused on sport history and philosophy.

The 25th anniversary of the Sports Archives will feature many events including an Open House coinciding with Homecoming in October 2013, a panel presentation discussing Penn State’s role in breaking the athletic color line in February 2014 and a special open forum in April 2014, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at Penn State.

For questions about this exhibit, the upcoming events or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, contact Paul Dzyak, sports archivist at pjd106@psu.edu, 814-865-2123. Hintz Alumni Hall is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Inquiries regarding hours at 800-548-5466 or local 814-865-6516.

Last Updated June 19, 2013