Welcome to Rowing Archives. This is our provisional website while a new website is being constructed. Our primary mission is to discover, restore, digitize and share visual imagery related to the sport of rowing and to educate the public about the sport. As a result of our efforts, we are able to give significant support to individuals, communities and organizations to improve lives through knowledge, education and history.
In just two years, we have made significant contributions to preserving and publicizing some of the most important events in modern rowing history (1908-present), including rare footage of the 1936 University of Washington Varsity eight - aka “The Boys in the Boat” practicing in Seattle, New York and Berlin. This remarkable footage comprised a significant portion of the PBS documentary “The Boys of ‘36,” which we provided to them as a public service (through the generosity of the Ulbrickson family).
Rowing Archives was also able to help leverage a very considerable donation of building materials that will be used to construct the Joe Rantz Memorial Boathouse in Lake Stevens, Washington. We have also supported the Green Lake Crew’s “Ready All” campaign to build a new boathouse that will serve the entire community through our production of “Green Lake Crew: 70 Years of Pulling Together.” Click on the links above to see a selection of films and photos we have already restored and digitized.
Rowing Archives founder Lenny O’Donnell frequently gives free presentations and speeches on rowing history and related topics to young rowers, old rowers and non-rowers in groups small and large.
We have tons more films and photos to scan, digitize and share, and we need the support of the international rowing community to continue to restore and digitize our archives (as well as thousands of feet of film languishing, unrestored and undigitized, in university collections all over the country. We hope you enjoy our content here and on our Facebook page (just search Rowing Archives). Your donations are the only way we can keep doing this important work. Thank you.