Home About Browse Advanced Search

About the Drake Relays Digital Archive

As Drake University prepared to celebrate its 125th anniversary and Drake Stadium prepared for its renovation, an idea passed through Cowles Library. How could we present some of the materials we have in our collections to celebrate and share the legacy of the Drake Relays? This digital archive is our answer to that question. Materials in the library and from the Athletic Department were gathered and surveyed. It quickly became clear that this was going to be a large project, and that preservation was going to be a major part of it.

To create a collection that tells the story of the Relays is a daunting task. The Drake Relays have been held every year since 1910 and have included athletes from high schools, colleges, universities, and track & field superstars from around the world. Events and memories that occur outside the stadium are also part of this history and needed to be included. Thousands of photographic slides, with little or no accompanying information, were sorted through. Hundreds were scanned, indexed, and preserved. Each image was researched using a variety of resources including Drake Relays programs, Drake University yearbooks (Quax), and Robert Spiegel’s two books on the Relays: The Drake Relays, 50 Golden Years and Drake Relays, 75 Years of Excellence. Many items still need to be identified and scanned. Many thousands of images will remain unscanned and unidentified, unless new resources come available to continue this time intensive work.

This collection is far from complete. This is the beginning of an attempt to capture, preserve and present what the Relays have meant to Drake University, Des Moines, and to Track & Field. There are huge gaps in many areas. Not all eras are well represented. Not all events have great coverage. We hope that over time we can fill these gaps with our materials, and perhaps materials from willing donors.

Future additions to the collection include audio clips of Drake Relays memories. These oral histories will be collected at the 2006 Drake Relays and will be added to the collection after they have been examined, indexed, and edited.

More Information on the Relays

The Drake Relays homepage has more information on the history of the Relays, as well as current information on Drake Relays related activities. The Relays homepage has a complete listing of the members of the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and Drake Relays records. Click to access the Drake Relays Homepage

Using the Collection

Search or browse through the individual records. When looking at a list of records, click on the thumbnail image to view the full record. Many of the images allow you to zoom in for more detail. Click on the image to zoom in. Some of the article and documents have multiple pages. Click on the page number on the left side of the screen to go to the next page.


Most of the images in this collection are taken from slides donated to Drake University by the Rev. John D. Clinton. Reverend Clinton’s images captured 30 years of Drake Relays history. He was a great friend to the Relays, and his standing was such that he was always given a coveted infield pass. Another good friend of the Relays, Rich Hoidahl, shared many images with us. He also allowed us to make digital copies of some of his collection of tickets and memorabilia. Some of the images from the athletic department’s collection were taken by unknown photographers. We have tried to identify and give credit to the photographer whenever possible.


Slides were digitized using a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 film scanner at 4000 dpi. Photographic prints were scanned on an Epson Expression 1640 XL flatbed scanner at 600 dpi. Newspaper articles were scanned on the same scanner at 300dpi, or were photographed using an Olympus E-300 Evolt 8 mega-pixel digital camera. All images were processed using Adobe Photoshop software. Master files have been archived in TIFF format and are stored at Cowles Library. From these master files smaller JPEG files were created for web access. The collection was constructed with CONTENTdm digital collection management software, using Dublin Core metadata.


Bart Schmidt, Digital Projects Librarian
Kathy Lincoln, Digital Metadata & Cataloging Associate
Sarah Clark, Student Assistant
Becky Jackson, Student Assistant

Additional support and help came from Scott Phillips, Claudia Frazer and Bruce Gilbert.

Copyrights and Permissions:

Copyright © Drake University 2006. All rights reserved. Please include this statement with any copies you make. The materials included in this web site are freely available for private study, scholarship or non-commercial research under the "fair use" provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code). Noncommercial, non-subscription Internet editions created for an educational purpose may freely link to the site or individual pages. Any use beyond the provisions of "fair use", including but not limited to commercial or scholarly publication, broadcast, redistribution or mounting on another web site always require prior written permission and may also be subject to additional restrictions and fees.

How You Can Help

If you have materials you believe belong in the Drake Relays Digital Archive at Cowles Library, please contact: Bart Schmidt at bart.schmidt@drake.edu
Please note that we are not able to use materials that are protected by copyright, unless that copyright is held by the donor.

© Drake University 2006 Cowles Library Drake Heritage Collections Contact Us