As you look for that much needed study break after hours of last-minute cramming for your finals, make sure to check out Sam Dunnington’s ’14 Grinnell sports exhibit in the basement of Burling.
The exhibit, “Grinnell’s Fall Sports, Way Back & Way, Way Back,” is located in Burling’s Iowa Room and is composed of team pictures, photos from past sporting events dating back to the 1950s and other interesting memorabilia.
While the majority of the photos come from the archives’ collection of official College relations photos from the 1950s through the 1990s, the archives also have unique boxes for each sports team, their content depending on what has been donated and collected over the years.
“I think one of the coolest things about the [library] archives and getting to work there is that you get a sense of how life has evolved at the school, especially over the last 50 years or so,” Dunnington said. “Putting up the ‘Fall Sports’ [exhibit] was a sort of contained way to look at that.”
Some of the most interesting elements include a program from the Grinnell-Knox homecoming football game of 1956, which Grinnell sadly lost 7-33, a coach’s instructional guide called a “Dope Book” and a photo of current professor of history and former Grinnell College President George Drake ’56 at a cross-country meet in 1986. Also, the exhibit displays photos of Grinnell’s women’s field hockey team, which existed between the 1970s and 1980s. There is a field hockey team photo from 1979 and a shot from a meet in 1981.
In curating the exhibit, Dunnington looked for pictures with either a spread of faces or individuals that still are active in the Grinnell community, such as Drake or women’s cross country coach, Evelyn Freeman.
“I looked for [photos] that paralleled pictures that people still take today, so you can compare the differences from the team photos for the 80s and now,” Dunnington said.
Earlier this semester, the archives featured a Halloween-themed exhibit with early print editions of books such as “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” The end of Halloween coincided well with the end of the fall sports season, and the archive wanted to create a display that would appeal to a new audience.
“It’s hard to get people to come down to the archives … we thought the sports exhibit could get a lot of people to swing through. It was sort of an outreach exhibit,” Dunnington said.
While, as a student of Grinnell currently, you may not be able to experience the thrill of a live women’s field hockey game, “Grinnell’s Fall Sports, Way Back & Way, Way Back” gives you a chance to at least see the excitement second-hand.