Jesse Owens Collection Guide

The 1936 Olympics interrupted Owens’ studies at Ohio State, but he maintained a close relationship with the University until his death in 1980. His wife, Ruth, continued this relationship, and in 1987 graciously deposited the Jesse Owens Papers in the University Archives. Additional material was added to the collection by the Owens family in 2013.  The collection includes papers, photos and artifacts from Owens’ life, including material from the 1936 Olympics. 

Below are some helpful links to begin your research. If you have further questions about the collection or photographs, please contact us at



Jesse Owens Collection Finding Aid

Archives' Jesse Owens web exhibit, "Jesse Owens, a lasting legend"

Biographical File 

1936 Olympic Diary

1936 Olympic Diary Transcription



Note about photographs:
Although the University Archives can provide photo reproductions from material in the Owens Collection, patrons will want to contact the Luminary Group to see if additional permission is needed to use the material.  The Luminary Group is the agent for Jesse Owens and his family, and is an intellectual property rights management company that licenses the rights of his images.

Jesse Owens Photographs


Other Resources

The Jesse Owens Foundation

The Luminary Group