Friday, August 21, 2015

V 5 N. 79 Looking to Preserve Our History

To Our Once Upon a Time in the Vest Followers:

Below we've posted a letter from Gary Corbitt, son of long distance running legend Ted Corbitt.
Gary is starting a project and discussion looking at how to preserve the heritage of our sport of track and field and long distance running for future researchers.  If you would like a copy of the full 29 page document you can contact Gary at
  I'm sure a lot of you have wondered what is going to happen to all those programs, pictures, track shoes, vaulting poles, uniforms etc. in that box in your attic.  Maybe you should start going through it and cataloging everything before it's too late.  There are a number of small track museums around the country that might accept those things if your kids don't want them.  But first this project might be able to organize a means of preserving your stuff and your memories.   We'll stay in touch with Gary to let you know how it is progressing.  You can also stay in touch directly with Gary at the suggested email address.

Ted Corbitt
picture from Snipview
To: The Track & Field and Long Distance Running Community

I’ve just completed a document called “The State of Track & Field and Long Distance Running History Preservation in the United States.” Eighteen recommendations are listed below and attached. If you would like the full 29 page document, please let me know.

It is my wish to work with a team of people to advance this history preservation agenda. I’m in discussions with Wayne Baker and Mike Fanelli on how we can initiate some on-line discussions about this topic on Facebook.

I hope to hear back from many of you with your thoughts on how we can advance the history preservation of our sport. In the meantime I will continue my work with the Ted Corbitt Archives. I plan to coordinate the following conference calls in the coming months and do a number of one-on-one oral history interviews with the pioneers of our sport.

Upcoming Conference Calls:
*Women Pioneers of Ultramarathons Part 2 & 3
*Participants in the 1964 Yonkers Marathon & 1967 Holyoke Marathon
*Participants in the 1970 Rocklin National 50 Mile Championship

Best Wishes!
Gary Corbitt
Curator: Ted Corbitt Archives
Like – Ted Corbitt – Pioneer on Facebook
Twitter - corbittg

Running History Preservation


1. This project needs to start small and build locally, regionally, by the types of running collections available.

2. Develop a team of 12 – 15 committed individuals working towards building a sustainable running history agenda.

3. Use crowdsourcing as a means of building this team by exchanging ideas and finding leaders online.

4. Develop a website, Facebook, and Twitter presence to build a community of running history leaders.

5. Both track & field and long distance running communities should work together as one team in developing a plan.

6. Once a committed team is established, a non-profit corporation should be started to develop and implement a plan and budget for track & field and long distance running history preservation.

7. Our sport should support all existing running history initiatives with funding and development ideas.

8. Develop a formal and coordinated process of targeting colleges to house collections.

9. Establish endowed funds tied to a specific collection at a universities for long term custodianship.

10. Develop a network of regional repositories among colleges, public libraries, athletic departments, and non-profits.

11. These track-and-field and long distance running libraries around the U.S. could be tiered two ways:

-Archival unique materials for research scholars.

-Materials that would circulate to broader group of interested readers.

12. Develop a systematic approach to working with estates to make it easy on families to donate collections and receive tax benefits.

13. Establish regional clearinghouses where families can send materials for review.

14. Make contact with estates of deceased individuals with private collections and attempt to form an alliance and plan.

15. In many cases there would be a separation between track and long distance running repositories. We’d define distance running as 1500 meters and up on any surface but not multi-sport variants like triathlons.

16. Learn from the successful history preservation models in other sports.

17. People with curator skills need to be found.

18. Encourage the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) chapter clubs to work on their own history preservation and report back to the national office.

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