Cultural Heritage: Publications From All Previous Olympic Games in France Now Digitised by the Olympic Studies Centre
From the Olympics Studies Centre:
As the 24-month countdown to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 approaches, the IOC’s Olympic Studies Centre is not only collecting publications related to the next edition of the Olympic Summer Games, but is also fast finishing the process of digitising all the publications of the Organising Committees (OCOGs) of past Olympic Games hosted in France, namely Paris 1900 and 1924, Chamonix 1924, Grenoble 1968 and Albertville 1992.
These publications include historically rich material such as daily programmes, rules and regulations, official reports, athletes’ directories and many more documents that provide a ready reckoner of the evolution of the Olympic Games, especially from the perspective of France as a host nation.
“Fifty publications of the current Paris 2024 OCOG have already been included in our collection, and hundreds will be added in the next two years. The publications of the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games represent an important part of the written legacy of the Games. Guaranteeing their preservation and accessibility is one of our key missions,” said Maria Bogner, Head of the Olympic Studies Centre.
“The collection we hold on these early Games editions is already very comprehensive, although we continue to acquire some works that are missing. For example, we acquired several sports programmes from the Olympic Games Paris 1924 at a recent auction just a few months ago. They will be digitised this year to complete the project.”
The French Games digitisation project was undertaken in 2021 in the run-up to Paris 2024. So far, this includes more than 250 publications – invaluable resources that are now available at the click of a button in the Olympic World Library, to anyone interested in diving into the rich history of the Olympic Games. The documents provide a rare glimpse into not just the historical but also the socio-cultural context that the Games were held in.
The digitised collection of OCOG publications continues to grow and is regularly enriched with new, but also more historical material.
“We have also digitised the publications of previous Games held in Japan, including Tokyo 1940, Tokyo 1964, Sapporo 1972, and Nagano 1998, ahead of Tokyo 2020,” added Bogner. “We are currently digitising the Italian Games of Rome 1960, Cortina 1956 and Turin 2006 as we also keep an eye on the horizon for Milano Cortina 2026.”
The Olympic Studies Centre, which celebrates its 40th anniversary later this year, started as a small library housed within the temporary Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1982. Today part of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, it houses thousands of documents, publications, books, journals and archives – both physical and digital – that are placed at the service of educators, professors, researchers and students, including the over 50 academic Olympic Studies and Research Centres (OSRCs) around the world.
The Olympic World Library is the Olympic Studies Centre’s online library catalogue and information portal, which is entirely dedicated to literature related to the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Games and Olympism. It includes official publications by the IOC and OCOGs, with books going back to the first edition of the Games in Athens in 1896.
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.