Academics and Research

Athletics teams up with Penrose Library to preserve historic photos

DU’s library and athletics department are teaming up to tackle a huge archival project: digitizing thousands of sports-related photos, videos, electronic media broadcasts, press releases, statistics, rosters and other documents.

Diane Wendt, director of strategic partnerships and corporate relations at DU, says the goal is to organize, archive and preserve the items, some of which go back to the late 19th century. One photo is of the 1891 DU sailing club.

Wendt adds that all digitized items will go into a single system searchable by team, sport, year or individual.

“We want to create a systematic approach to managing and maintaining current and future records over time, and we hope the project can serve as a model for other departments to support their records and information needs,” Wendt says.

Steve Fisher, Special Collections curator at Penrose Library, says he hopes the project “shows how important each … person is as a thread in the fabric of DU’s historical record and how much their contributions to that historical record are valued.”

Athletics and Recreation launched the project last August and employees are now laying groundwork for procedures and protocols. Wendt praises Greg Colati and Kate Crowe for managing the project. Colati is a digital initiatives coordinator at Penrose Library; Crowe is a project archivist for Athletics and Recreation.

Wendt estimates that 150,000 athletics and recreation photos, along with hundreds of historical documents and electronic media elements in various formats, will be vetted over the coming months.

Fisher says the project will be ongoing. “[It will] never be finished because records are, and will be, constantly generated.”

The effort also will include displaying historical photographs in the Ritchie Center concourse and offices, on electronic scoreboards and in DU print publications.

Those with historical athletic material or those who may be able to help identify and date items can contact Fisher at 303-871-2328 or

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