The Stark Center was founded by University of Texas faculty members Terry and Jan Todd. They set many national and world records in powerlifting and began collecting materials about physical culture and sports well before their arrival at the University in 1983. The collection they assembled, formerly known as the Todd-McLean Physical Culture Collection, is the largest of its kind in the world. Although housed at the University for many years, the collection was open to researchers only on a limited basis because of a lack of space and staff support. In 2009, the Stark Center opened in its new home in the North End Zone of the football stadium where it now contains more than 30,000 books, more than 2,000 serial (journal) titles, and a rich variety of primary source documents such as correspondence, photographs, films, and a wide assortment of print and media relations materials. In 2011, the Stark Center was recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an official Olympic Studies Centre, one of only two in the United States.

To read more about the Stark Center, to view its digital collections, and for maps and addition information visit the Stark Center Website.

Stark Center Mission

As a research center at The University of Texas at Austin—one of the nation’s major research universities—the Stark Center is dedicated to:

  1. acquiring and providing access to archival materials in the fields of physical culture and sports;
  2. supporting and conducting research in disciplines concerned with health and high performance;
  3. preserving the history of physical culture and sports; and
  4. educating the public about the cultural and scientific significance of physical culture and sports through publications, digitization, web-based initiatives, and gallery and museum displays.

We define Physical Culture as: a term used to describe the various activities people have employed over the centuries to strengthen their bodies, enhance their physiques, increase their endurance, enhance their health, fight against aging, and become better athletes.

Additional Information

Read about the Stark Center’s Institute for Olympic Studies.

Read an article about the unique research resources of the Stark Center and view the most recent issue of Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture.