New collection captures figure skating’s storied past

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This image depicts some of the books, images, photos and other materials contained in a recently donated figure skating archive.

Few stars shine as bright in the history of figure skating as Sonia Henie and Barbara Ann Scott. Now a new collection is providing a unique glimpse at these and other superstars of the figure skating world.

Carl Spadoni, former Director of McMaster’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, recently donated his large collection of figure skating books, photos, archive material and skating memorabilia to the Division.

The collection includes over 300 books, 1200 photos, more than 800 postcards, 400 programs, as well as medals, films, letters and autograph books featuring some of skating’s biggest stars.

Learn more about the materials in the collection

The collection also provides a unique insight into local skating history and includes programs and other publications created by skating clubs from cities and towns across Canada.

Materials span more than 200 years of skating history and represent a range of figure skating ephemera from an NFB film featuring 1948 Olympic champion Barbara Ann Scott, to costume sketches for fellow Canadian stars, Brian Orser and Elizabeth Manley.  Also included are the first books published on skating in Europe and North America, dating as early as 1813.

“This is one of the finest collections of figure skating materials in the world,” says Wade Wyckoff Associate University Librarian, Collections. “We are grateful to receive this unique collection and pleased to add these remarkable materials to our archives.”

Read the Hamilton Spectator article featuring this collection.

Figure Skating featuring Carl Spadoni