The University of Texas at Austin to Digitize Olympic Collection

April 11, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin will collaborate with McGill University to process and digitize the Richard W. Pound Olympic Collection, a large and varied archive of material related to the International Olympic Movement.

Collected by former McGill Chancellor Richard Pound, who swam for the Canadian Olympic team in the 1960 summer games in Rome and has served on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1978, some 400,000 pages of documents are being catalogued and digitized by the University of Texas Libraries with the understanding that portions of the collection will be available for research by the university and others in the future.

The Pound Olympic Collection contains more than 100 linear meters of archival material (about 350 boxes), with some 700 printed titles and a significant body of regalia, including more than 850 pin sets, medals, statuettes, coin sets and 12 Olympic torches. It provides a wealth of information on the recent history of the Olympic Movement, its public image, a private view of its inner functioning and the role of one of its major representatives.

Pound’s papers document his role in the various Olympic organizations and their development, notably his involvement in the IOC television rights, marketing and sponsorship negotiations, and the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The collection also includes correspondence from all over the world, often with personal notes from friends, colleagues and unknown people.

Pound served on the Canadian Olympic Committee from 1968-1982, the last five years of which he was president. After joining the IOC in 1978, he served on the executive committee for 16 years and as vice president from 1987 to 1991 and again 1996 to 2000. His investigation of the Salt Lake City bidding scandal led to the creation of a new ethics watchdog to monitor future interactions between bidding cities and IOC members.

He also is chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, established in 1999 in Switzerland, to promote and coordinate the international fight against doping in sport. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world for his relentless efforts to rid sport of performance-enhancing drugs.

Pound is the author of "Five Rings over Korea," in which he writes about the political negotiations leading to the success of the 1988 summer games in Seoul. He was chancellor of McGill University from 1999-2009 and currently is a partner of the Montreal law firm Stikeman Elliot.

The university's Texas Program in Sports and Media (TPSM) is coordinating the project. TPSM advisory board member Dr. Steven Ungerleider, a University of Texas at Austin alumnus, a member of the Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry and a member of the education and ethics committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency, was instrumental in facilitating the inter-institutional relationship between McGill University and The University of Texas at Austin. Ungerleider is the author of "Faust’s Gold," which chronicles the East German doping machine of the 1970s and 1980s and was made into a PBS special. TPSM is the home to the research archive for this book.

The processing and digitization project is being funded by donations.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071; Christopher Hart, 512-471-2431.