Harrisburg exhibit shows female Olympians throughout history

July 31, 2012

Who is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time? (Hint: it’s a woman.) Which Olympic swimmer gained more celebrity for carousing and breaking curfew than for her gold medal backstroke performance? Which athlete starred as Jane in the 1938 film Tarzan’s Revenge?

Find answers and see photos of these and other female athletes in the display “From Spectators to Champions: Female Athletes in the Olympic Games,” through Sep. 14 at the Penn State Harrisburg Library.

American studies graduate student Katie Gorell, one of the exhibits co-curators, culled 21 images from the college’s Alice Marshall Women’s History Collection and researched the background on each. Together, the photographs and stories present a look at the rise of female participation in the Olympics since 1900, the first year women were permitted to compete.

The photos represent a small portion of the Alice Marshall collection, a repository of thousands of books, pamphlets (many of them rare), periodicals, and other materials ranging from sheet music to trading cards. Heidi Abbey, humanities reference librarian and archivist, and Martha Sachs, the collection curator, have begun digitizing the materials, making them available online through the University Libraries digital collection and on Flickr.

Penn State Harrisburg Library hours, through Aug. 11: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, Noon-4 p.m.

Aug. 11-25: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fall semester hours beginning Aug. 27: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Sunday, 2-11 p.m.

For information, contact the library at 717-948-6070.

  • Artifacts from the exhibit 'From Spectators to Champions: Female Athletes in the Olympic Games,' at the Penn State Harrisburg Library.

    IMAGE: Sharon Siegfried

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 31, 2012