Have any T&F books or documents to donate to major library?

TAFWA (Track and Field Writers of America) says efforts are afoot to establish a major track and field library and archives somewhere. My latest TAFWA newsletter reports: “There is not a library dedicated to track and field in America, but three are now in the works. To be precise, there is a TF library in Los Angeles. It is part of the larger all-sports Helms Foundation Library, which contains the old AAU/TAC collection once housed at Butler University in Indiana. Butler however did not keep it long, and they shipped it on to California. Remnants of this collection however are now often for sale on eBay, so it is not clear how much of that original library remains intact. However, there is good news to report on this front, as three libraries are in different stages of development.” Since many of this blog’s readers have more memorabilia than you can shake an 800g javelin at, consider contacting the folks mentioned.

The newsletter continued:

• The library at the University of Texas at Austin is establishing a section devoted to our sport. Our longtime member Jim Dunaway, an Austin resident, is the point person if you wish to donate.

• The Armory Foundation in New York is building a space in its building in Manhattan that will be exclusively a library and archive. It will include work stations for research, a photo collection, and video terminals. It is expected to be completed in 2013. The Armory hopes to focus on the domestic and indoor parts of the sport. If you wish to donate materials, contact the curator, Jack Pfeifer, at the Armory 212-923-1803 x7026.

• The Scott Davis Collection, maintained by Scott’s widow, Cheryl, still rests in crates at the Davis home in Southern California, but negotiations are underway to relocate this remarkable archive to Eugene, Ore., where Scott was the chief announcer for many years. Rather than being absorbed by the University library, it may be maintained by the school Athletic Department. Talks continue. Once the library is established, presumably there will be the opportunity for others to contribute suitable materials.

• A fourth possible library has been discussed for the University of Pennsylvania, to focus on the 118-year-old Penn Relays.

• These libraries could also specialize regionally, with Eugene taking the West, Austin the Midwest and South, Philadelphia the Middle Atlantic and New York the Northeast. In time, coordination of this might be helpful.

For many years, our older members have often had no place to put their treasured collections as they get older, and too much winds up in the dustbin. We hope this will end that.


A long-time ATFS and FAST member is interested in finding a new and hopefully permanent home for one of the finest collections in existence of the German athletics periodical Leichtathletik: a complete set of matching hardbound volumes of every year of Leichtathletik from 1952 through 1997, in perfect condition. The bound issues have not been marked or otherwise harmed. The years appear to be complete.

In addition, there are unbound issues that take the collection through 2003. As you might imagine, each annual volume is pretty heavy. The entire collection fills 12 boxes, so transporting them will not be inexpensive. They are currently housed in Illinois.
The owner insists that the collection remain intact and not be broken up or resold in separate parts. He will consider placing them in a library, if that will ensure their survival as a unified collection.

He has received several offers of more than $1,000, but wishes to offer the books to the U.S. track and field community before making a decision. If you are interested, please contact Tom Casacky at info@atfs.org; he will forward serious offers to the owner.

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October 21, 2012

3 Responses

  1. Mark Cleary - October 21, 2012

    There is a library dedicated to Track and Field and running in Los Angeles i visited there 15 years ago–I think the 1984 olympic proceeds funded that project-I think they need to check there facts

  2. Doug Smith - October 21, 2012

    At the conclusion of the ’84 Los Angeles Olympics, the LAOC had a net profit of approximately $82 million. They started a foundation, LA84 Foundation, which is a non-profit. They provide funds to youth athletic groups to promote athletics, and they provide clinics for coaches, etc., without a fee. I have attended some of these clinics for T&F, and they are superb clinics. LA84 Foundation has an extensive athletic library in Los Angeles, which contains T&F periodicals, other documents, etc., and videos of track meets in their archives. If anyone would like to know more about this library, you should access: http://www.la84foundation.org. I visited this library shortly after they opened several years ago, and visited there last month. It has grown immensely, and contains all sorts of T&F history for those who are interested.

  3. Pole Vault Power - October 22, 2012

    Hey that’s not true, my Association (Pacific NW) has a library with what looks to me like several hundred books and magazines.

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