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Diving into Print and Electronic Collections: Sports Resources in the Library

Hella Heydorn

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2010 is an exciting year in international sports: The Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada in February, and the Soccer World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June are two of the most-watched events in the world. Both share the spirit that athletic competitions have: the ability to unite people in mutual excitement and enthusiasm for sportsmanship, athletic grace and speed, and peaceful yet fervent rivalry among countries.

If you are researching a paper on doping, sports economics, or just indulging your interests in the final standings of your favorite team, a visit to the Marvin K. Peterson Library is the perfect pretext to explore our print and electronic resources, particularly for a subject as multi-faceted as sports.

Sports and international events offer a myriad of aspects that are exciting to scholars and lay people. From medicine to law, from the social sciences to international relations, business, psychology, and education, you don’t have to be an athlete to take an interest in this fascinating topic.

Our reference collection on the first floor has standard works such as Sports Market Place or the Encyclopedia of Recreation and Leisure among many other print resources. Search the Library’s online catalog for books on a particular subject (for example, the history of the Olympic Games, or the economic and cross-cultural aspects of professional sports). Check our databases for recent or historical newspaper articles, scholarly articles, biographical information or online reference articles. Last but not least, surf the web sites that we have select for their reliable and interesting content.

You may know, for example, that the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.  But did you know that only 12 nations responded to the invitation of the International Olympic Committee?  The American team was one of the largest with 13 members (only the Greek team was larger). The British team counted only 6 athletes. (Guttmann, Allan. The Games Must Go On. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. 15). Or consider that “when British soldiers in Afghanistan and southern Iraq wanted to befriend the locals, they played a soccer match.  On Christmas Day 1914, British and German soldiers in the First World War trenches did the same thing.” (Szymanski & Zimbalist.  National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2005. 1).

If you like to find out more interesting facts and facets on whatever topic you are researching, or if you need help using any of the print or electronic resources at the Library, sports-related or otherwise, come to the Information Desk.  For a complete listing of the Library’s Subject Guides, please visit:

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Diving into Print and Electronic Collections: Sports Resources in the Library