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Faculty of Science
Laurier acquires significant collection of Olympic and sports history
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Students and faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University now have access to 40 years of Olympic and sports history in the form of personal documents, reports and correspondence belonging to former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Avery Brundage.
Brundage, a successful businessman and one-time Olympic competitor, led the IOC from 1952 to 1972 – a politically-charged period that saw the rise of television in sport.
“If anybody is interested in trying to understand the Olympic movement in the post Second World War era, and the early- to mid-stages of the Cold War, this is the place to start,” said Stephen Wenn, professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
Wenn has written several papers on Brundage, and suggested bringing the collection to Laurier with the help of an endowment fund.
The 146 reels of microfilm include Brundage’s personal correspondence with IOC members during his tenure, minutes of IOC board meetings, personal correspondence pertaining to the Olympics, speeches, his personal newspaper and magazine clippings, and documents related to successful and unsuccessful Olympic bids.
The collection is being housed at Laurier's Waterloo campus Library in the Archives and Special Collections Department.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for students in a number of departments to feed their interest in sport and the history of sport through the use of a very significant archival collection,” said Wenn.
Archives and Special Collections is located on the first floor of the library, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.