Sport An exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Books Collection Introduction




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The Olympic Games

16. Sport und Staat. Erster Band / im Auftrage des Reichsportführers unter Mitwirkung von Alfred Baeumler ; herausgegeben von Arno Breitmeyer, P.G. Hoffmann. (Hamburg : Hilsfonds für den Deutschen Sport, 1934)



The modern Olympics began with the games at Athens in 1896. Perhaps the most controversial Olympics were held in Berlin in 1936. The celebratory work on display, published in the build-up to the Nazi-organised Olympics, makes specific the link between sport and the state, which many at the time and since have found distasteful.

17. Olympic Games (16th :, 1956 : Melbourne, Vic.).

The official report of The Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad Melbourne 1956 / by the Organizing Committee of the XVI Olympiad, 1956. (Melbourne : W. M. Houston, Government Printer, 1958)

18. The Games of the sixteenth olympiad : Melbourne MCMLVI. (Melbourne : Argus and Australasian Ltd., 1956)

19. The Olympic games, Melbourne 1956. (Melbourne, Australia : Colorgravure Publication, 1956)



Melbourne was proud to host the 1956 Olympics. Australia did well in the events, winning 13 gold medals, more than we had ever won previously, coming third in the overall medal tally, behind the USA and the USSR.


One of the Wall Cases is devoted to the 1956 Olympics.

20. Invitation Committee for the 1988 Olympic Games for Melbourne.

Invitation to celebrate the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad, Melbourne 1988, Melbourne 1988 / by the Invitation Committee for the 1988 Olympic Games for Melbourne. (Melbourne : The Committee, 1981)

21. Melbourne Olympic Candidature 1996 Committee.

Official submission to host the Games of the XXVIth Olympiad. [Melbourne : Melbourne Olympic Candidature 1996 Committee, 1990] 3 v.



Melbourne tried to host the Games again in 1988 and in 1996, but the Games were awarded to Seoul and Atlanta, respectively.

22. The Age commemorative box : Sydney 2000 Olympics collector editions. [Melbourne : The Age, 2000] Newspaper part-issues (donated by Lindsay Shaw)



Despite the unsuccessful bids by Melbourne in the 1980s and 1990s, Sydney, was awarded the honour of hosting the 2000 Games.


Rowing

23. Official programme. Forty-second Anniversary Regatta. Hobart Town. Tuesday, January 27, 1880. To commemorate the Anniversary of Tasman’s discovery of this island in 1642. (Hobart, Mercury Office, 1880) [printed on silk]



In his Introduction to volume 1 of British Sports and Sportsmen (1908) Horace Huntchinson wrote,


I remember that when I first began to look into the history of our British sports and pastimes, I was not so much surprised at the little interest which they seemed to excite … as by the fact that the pastime which aroused the greatest interest of all at that time was rowing. I do not mean that locally it was of equal interest with hunting; but there was no other sport, not even that of pugilism (which had then fallen from its highest estimation) that interested people in London so much as rowing. (p. v)

Henley Regatta began in 1839 and the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, had first been rowed in 1829, but there had then been a ten year gap before the official Oxford University Rowing Club was formed in 1839 and the first of the continuous series of races between the Universities took place.


The first Hobart regatta was in 1827, and the Sydney regatta was first held on 26th January 1837, to commemorate the founding of Australia.

24. Cuthbertson, James Lister, 1851-1910.

Barwon ballads and school verses / by James Lister Cuthbertson "C". Memorial ed. (Melbourne : Melville & Mullen, 1912)



The “Head of the River” races between the major public schools are held in each state. In Melbourne they race on the Barwon River at Geelong as well as on the Yarra. James Lister Cuthbertson’s Barwon Ballads is most notable for his poems on the races.


Until the 1950s and early 1960s the Head of the River races were given extensive coverage in the sports pages of the Melbourne daily newspapers and there was betting on the races.

25. Reed, Talbot Baines, 1852-1893.

The Willoughby captains / By Talbot Baines Reed. New edition. (London : Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1935)



First published, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1887, after appearing in Boy’s Own magazine, this English school story centres on rowing.


The cover of this edition features a colour illustration of the crews going under a bridge, while their schoolmates cheer them from above.

26. Lang, John.

The Victorian oarsman with a rowing register, 1857-1919, 62 years / the work of John Lang ; with introduction by George Fairbairn and foreword by Henry Gyles Turner. (Melbourne : A.H. Massina, 1919)



This is an invaluable source of information on the early history of the sport in Victoria, giving for example the background details and the results of such major events as the Melbourne Regatta, first held as the “Upper Yarra Regatta” on 25th April 1857, and the Australian Henley Regatta, first held on 19th March 1904 on the Yarra River from the Botanic Gardens Bridge to the Princes Bridge.
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