The Spanish National Olympic Committee has become the first international partner of the Olympic World Library (OWL) network, an extension of the IOC Olympic Studies Centre’s (OSC) online library.
The OWL Network, established in 2016 by the OSC, serves as a library catalogue, information portal, and search engine specifically focused on literature related to the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games. Its primary objective is to make Olympic and sports-related literature easily accessible by uniting library collections from various institutions. Through the OWL Network, users have free access to bibliographic descriptions and digital documents provided by all the participating partners. With an extensive collection of over 38,000 titles, more than 12,000 digital documents, and over 400,000 annual users, the OWL has established itself as the foremost authority on Olympic-related information. Its diverse collection encompasses publications from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (OCOGs), as well as a wide range of academic books and articles covering various historical, cultural, social, and economic aspects of the Olympic Movement.
The OSC, in collaboration with its service provider Archimed, manages and oversees the technical infrastructure of the library management system, while also setting general documentation rules for the library collections. Each partner institution is responsible for documenting and managing its own collection, as well as handling access and loan requests from its users. This May 2023, the National Olympic Committee of Spain became the first partner to join the network.
The agreement between the OSC and the Spanish NOC was facilitated by Alejandro Blanco, President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, and overseen by Raúl Chapado, President of the Royal Spanish Olympic Academy. Chapado emphasised the opportunity to showcase their resources and support education and research initiatives. Digitising the works of Conrado Durántez, the founder and former president of the Royal Spanish Olympic Academy, is one of the initial priorities for the Royal Spanish Olympic Academy within this project. Chapado highlighted that Durántez’s significant contributions as a historian, author, and expert on the ancient and modern Olympic Games and Olympism would now be easily accessible to a global audience through the Olympic World Library.
Maria Bogner, Head of the Olympic Studies Centre, emphasised the inclusion of the Spanish National Olympic Committee’s library catalog as a noteworthy milestone. Bogner expressed satisfaction with the collaboration and revealed plans to expand the network with additional partners in the future, thereby furthering the preservation, dissemination, and advancement of knowledge regarding the Olympic Movement worldwide.
With this first collaboration, it is hoped that a path will be opened, and that other organisations will join in, in order to be able to continue transmitting and preserving the history of the Olympics.
You can discover the Olympic World Library here.