The Historical Archive of the Organising Committee of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

The Historical Archive of the Organising Committee of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, covering the period from the bidding to the completion of the Games, is ready for demonstration.

The Historical Archive of the Organising Committee of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, covering the period from the bidding to the completion of the Games, is ready for demonstration.

The Historical Archive is hosted in the premises of the International Olympic Academy in Ancient Olympia in a room of 420 m2 and includes rich printed, audiovisual and digitized material as well as official objects of the Athens Olympic Games.

The work of the creation of the Historical Archive of ATHENS 2004 was entirely financed by the donation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to whom the relevant archival material belongs to, while the materialization was undertaken by the non-profit corporation “Historical Archive ATHENS 2004” which was founded to serve this purpose.

The Archive is addressed to the collective memory and becomes a useful tool for the future researcher, thus constituting the conclusion of the Athens Olympic Games, 10 years later.
After the completion of each Olympic Games Organisation, the historical archives of each Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, that is those relating to the preparation and operation of the Games, are handed down to the International Olympic Committee.

In particular, in the case of Greece and due to the specific bond of the country with the Olympic Games institution, it was accepted that the archives of “ATHENS 2004” stay in the country. For this reason, the IOC through its then President, Mr Jacques Rogge, undertook the task of financing the processing and creation of a historical archive of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.

The materialization of this task was undertaken by the non-profit corporation “Historical Archive ATHENS 2004”. The project began in May 2013 and was completed in June 2014. The International Olympic Academy President, Mr Isidoros Kouvelos, and the Hellenic Olympic Committee President, Mr Spyros Capralos, agreed to host the archive in the premises of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, in the International Olympic Academy in Ancient Olympia, after a unanimous decision of the H.O.C. Executive Board.

The selected material was organized, digitized where this was necessary, and saved both in electronic and physical format, so as to be protected from any damage and become easily accessible for future use.
The International Olympic Academy assigned the “Otto Szymiczek” room, 420 m2 which was divided and transformed into a fully equipped conference room for 110 people and a room of 195 m2 for the archive, comprising of an exposition room, hosting the authentic archival objects, and a room for study and research of the digitized archives.

After the completion of the project, the amount that remained from the initial budgeting is used, after the authorization of the International Olympic Committee, for the amelioration of the premises and the infrastructures of the International Olympic Academy.

The “room of the archival exhibits” is hosting original objects representative and characteristic of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, placed in thematic units. This allows the visitor but also the researcher to have direct visual contact with the original objects and symbols of the Games.

Thematic units of the exhibits:

Olympic Torch and Torch Relay with relevant material of pictures, photos and posters.
Olympic Medals with relevant pictures and photos.
Opening and Closing Ceremony with photos and material.
Presentation of an archive with representative Operational Planning of the venues, architectural plans but also full electronic series with the use of Panel TV.
Selected authentic Olympic merchandise.
Selected collectable memorabilia, with characteristic pins and other objects.
Mascots and pictograms of sports.
Exposition/promotion of archival material of communication, image and identity (official posters, messages of the Games, pictograms, image of the Games etc).
Presentation of the paid and volunteer staff uniform.
Panel TV with selected audiovisual material.
These documents form only a part of an extremely vast archival material. Thus, the archival material that was digitized came out of a selection.

Infrastructure – Premises – Support

In the archive room there is a study room which has 4 places for PCs through which up to 4 individual users/researchers may have simultaneous access to the digitized archive.
There is also a connection with a wall screen, in case the user wishes to watch something on a big scale (for example a video) or in case a group of users wish to watch something. In case of group projections, there are seats for at least 12 more people.

Close to the seats for the electronic view, there is a library which includes all the original editions and the documents of the ATHENS 2004 Organising Committee, which are also digitized. This spacing allows the simultaneous view/study/identification of the same material in a digitized – electronic format as well as in its physical original format.

In the room there are also two desks with eight (8) places in total for view/study of the original authentic editions and the rest of the documents.