The Stark Center holds one of the finest collections of articles, multimedia items, and resources in the field of physical culture in the world. It is comprised of many individual collections, listed below:
- Coulter was a vaudeville strongman and author. He helped form the first weightlifting association in the United States, the American Continental Weight Lifting Association (ACWLA), and was a lifelong collector. Contents: books, complete runs of most major physical culture magazines, approximately 200 other serial publications in incomplete runs, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, manuscripts, training courses, diaries, posters, and extensive correspondence files.
The Roy J. McLean Collection:
- McLean was a University of Texas professor who also served as U.T.’s wrestling, weightlifting, and cross-country coach. Contents: books, magazines, manuscripts on U.T. sport, and ephemera.
The David P. Willoughby Collection:
- Willoughby was a weightlifting historian, artist, and anthropometrist. He authored a number of books, including The Super Athletes; helped form the ACWLA; and wrote hundreds of articles on physical culture. Contents: correspondence, notes & files, manuscripts, artwork, photographs, and books.
The Sydell Herbst–Christopher Gian-Cursio Collection:
- Dr. Christopher Gian-Cursio was a naturopathic physician and book collector who specialized in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century medical advice books. Acquired from Sydell Herbst, his former assistant. Contents: approximately 5,000 books, 80 naturopathic and medical journals in several hundred issues; 1500 pamphlets, correspondence, and medical files.
The Jesse Mercer Gehman Collection:
- Dr. Gehman worked as an editor for Bernarr Macfadden in the 1920s, wrote one of the earliest books warning of the dangers of cigarette smoke (Smoke Over America) in the 1930s, and served as president of both the American Vegetarian Union and the American Naturopathic Society. Contents: books, magazines, pamphlets, Macfadden ephemera, correspondence, patient files, and photographs.
The Peary and Mabel Rader Collection:
- For more than fifty years, the Raders published the influential Iron Man magazine from the town of Alliance, Nebraska. They also traveled widely to judge weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding contests. Contents: Iron Man manuscripts, many thousands of photos, subject files, correspondence, business records, books, and ephemera.
The Johnnie Lee Macfadden Collection:
- Johnnie Lee Macfadden was Bernarr Macfadden’s last wife, a beauty expert, and a columnist. Contents: correspondence, photographs, art, and ephemera.
The George Hackenschmidt Collection:
- Hackenschmidt was a famous late-nineteenth-early-twentieth century weightlifter/wrestler who later authored several books on philosophy. Contents: scrapbooks, manuscripts, business records, books, and photographs.
The Allan J. Ryan Collection:
- Dr. Allan J. Ryan was a founding member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), served as president of ACSM from 1963-1964, and was for many years the editor-in-chief of the influential journal—The Physician and Sportsmedicine. Contents: many hundreds of books, magazines, and ephemera.
- Donated in 2002 by Alda Ketterman’s daughter, Miriam Lamparter, the Hoffman/Ketterman collection consists of correspondence between York Barbell Company founder Bob Hoffman and his wife, Alda Ketterman, Olympic memorabilia, books, magazines, AAU meeting notes, photos, and miscellaneous ephemera.
The Al Leroux Collection:
- Leroux was a collector, bodybuilder, and amateur film maker. Contents: Bodybuilding books, magazines, movies, videos.
The Professor Attila—Siegmund Klein Collection:
- Professional strongman Louis Attila trained Sandow, moved to America in 1893, and opened a gym in New York City. His son-in-law, Siegmund Klein, took over the gym in the 1920s and managed it until 1974. Contents: Attila’s scrapbook, stage weights, medals, art, photographs, correspondence, ephemera.
- Muscle Beach pioneers Les and Pudgy Stockton left behind a wealth of materials about their lives as members of the original Muscle Beach group. Contents: scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence files, and various other ephemera.
The George F. Jowett Collection:
- Jowett was a strongman, promoter, author, and magazine editor whose career spanned the period 1910-1960. With Willoughby and Coulter, he helped found the ACWLA, and also helped Bob Hoffman start Strength & Health magazine. He later aided Joe Weider during Weider’s early days as a magazine publisher. Contents: scrapbooks, manuscripts, letters, business records, books, photographs, medals, and awards.
The Harold Weiss Collection:
- Harold Weiss was one of the greatest private collectors of strength and weightlifting materials in the post-World War II era. A Memphis trial attorney, he covered the world in search of books, magazines, and other artifacts related to this field. His collection was donated in 1998, according to his wishes, by his widow, Helen Weiss. Contents: The Weiss Collection, among other treasures, includes full runs of most major English-language magazines and an exceptional collection of foreign language texts, as well as hundreds of books and booklets.
The Maude Frank Collection:
- Maude Frank, who lived on Long Island, became interested in the field of physical culture because of her conversion to vegetarianism. Contents: thousands of books, magazines, and pamphlets in the fields of vegetarianism, naturopathy, alternative medicine, and hygiene.
The Joseph Maczuga Collection:
- Father of donor Jackie Berry, Maczuga, a weightlifter and Rhode Island native, was a prolific collector of weight training and gymnasium equipment. Contents: dumbbells, Indian clubs, barbells, photos, ephemera, and magazines.
The National Health Association’s Herbert Shelton Collection:
- Naturopath Herbert Shelton published more than 35 books in the fields of vegetarianism and alternative medicine and founded, in 1939, a monthly journal, Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review. He was also an avid collector of books and magazines in the fields of nutrition and alternative medicine. For some years after his death, Dr. Shelton’s collection resided at the home offices of the National Health Association, formerly called the American Natural Hygiene Society, in Tampa, Florida. In 2002 it was donated to The University of Texas at Austin. Contents: thousands of books, magazines, manuscript materials, and ephemera.
The Dr. William Taft Collection:
- Retired University of Missouri journalism professor and Bernarr Macfadden scholar, Taft collected an amazing array of research materials on Bernarr Macfadden. Contents: clippings, photos, and correspondence.
The Milton Jamail Collection:
- Dr. Milton Jamail, retired from the Government Department at The University of Texas, is the author of Full Count: Inside Cuban Baseball and has worked as a baseball reporter for a variety of publications, inlcuding USA Today. Contents: contemporary baseball annuals, magazines, and scorecards.
The Thomas “Stout” Jackson Collection:
- Stout Jackson was a traveling strongman from Texas who toured the western US in the early part of the twentieth century, generally appearing in small towns and county fairs. He later settled in south Texas, designed and built several outdoor theaters and drive-in movies, and sometimes gave strength exhibitions. Contents: Scrapbooks, strongman paraphernalia, posters, and photoss
The Stephen Green-Armytage Photography Collection:
- New York photographer Stephen Green-Armytage, author of Extraordinary Chickens and Extraordinary Pheasants, has also taken photographs of dozens of major sports figures for such magazines as Sports Illustrated and Life. Contents: slides and photographs.
The Albert Davis Boxing and Sport Photography Collection:
- Davis collected rare, circa 1880-1950 photographs and cabinet cards of such boxing and wrestling legends as John L. Sullivan, Jack Johnson, William Muldoon, James Corbett, Primo Carnera, and many others. Also: other turn-of-the-century images from such sports as baseball, football, cycling, pedestrianism, and women’s sport.
The William B. Ward Collection:
- Wichita Falls native William B. Ward was a great fan of sports and a serious collector. Contents: a huge collection of programs, photographs, books, magazines, and other ephemera related to baseball, football, boxing, and other general sports. Large collection of Texas sport items.
The Vic Boff Collection:
- Boff, a longtime physical culturist and founder of the Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen, was friends with many people involved in the field, including George F. Jowett and Joe Bonomo. He was also the most well-known winter bather during the middle part of the 20th century. Contents: materials from Bonomo and Jowett, as well as many books, pamphlets, magazines, photos, and artifacts from his collection.
The David Chapman Collection:
- Chapman is a collector, journalist, and author of several books, including Sandow the Magnificent. Contents: books, magazines, and photographs.
The Alton Eliason Collection:
- Eliason was a gym owner in the 1930s and 1940s, a writer, a collector, and a lifelong physical culturist and organic gardener who also promoted bodybuilding and weightlifting competitions in the New England area. Contents: books, magazines, photographs, correspondence, artifacts, and ephemera.
The Joe and Betty Weider Collection:
- Joe Weider is the most successful publisher of weight training/fitness magazines in the 20th century. He began his publishing career in 1940 with Your Physique and went on to launch many other magazines, including Muscle Power, Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Shape, and Men’s Fitness. He also had a successful food supplement business and, with his brother, Ben, he founded the International Federation of Bodybuilders. Since the 1950s he and his wife Betty have been central figures in fitness. Contents: Paintings, drawings, posters, sculptures, letters, books, magazines, and ephemera.
The Judy Gedney Collection:
- Judy Gedney, a retired college professor, has been involved in powerlifting as a competitor and administrator since the late 1970s and has won many national and world championships and set many national and world records in the sport. Contents: correspondence, magazines, photographs, and organizational records.
The Chris Green and Laurence Chalip Collection:
- Dr. B. Christine Green, Associate Professor and Dr. Laurence Chalip, Professor, both teach sport management students in the University of Texas’ Kinesiology and Health Education Department. Their collection reflects their long standing interests in the sociological, political and managerial aspects of sport.
The Charles E. Yesalis Papers: The Steroids Game
- Dr. Charles Yesalis has studied the role of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) and other
performance enhancing drugs in sports and society for over twenty-five years.
The Mark Henry Collection
The David Webster, OBE, Collection
The Kimon Voyages Collection
The José Juan de Olloqui Hunting and Physical Culture Collection
The Edmund Hoffman Golf Collection
Slim “The Hammerman” Farman
Joe “The Mighty Atom” Greenstein
Dr. Jack Leighton
Warren Lincoln Travis
Ray Van Cleef