Earlier this year, Grinnell College’s Life Trustee Robert C. Musser ’62 asked Nancy Baumgartner, administrative assistant to the director of athletics, for help finding basketball game film from the early ’60s. What they found instead, says Baumgartner, “was a hidden treasure.”
She led Musser to a small room crowded with old films. As they dug together through piles, he spotted a couple of oddly-sized, unmarked canisters. Musser was curious about what was on the film, so Baumgartner arranged to have Ralph Helt, audiovisual services coordinator, screen it. To everyone’s surprise, they were copies of an early Grinnell College recruitment film produced in the late ’40s. When they discovered what they had, Baumgartner arranged for the film to be digitized.
“The athletics program had been suspended earlier due to World War II,” says Baumgartner, “and the College was building the program back up.” Clues in the film — including the presence of College President Samuel Stevens and John Truesdale; construction on Loose Hall, visible behind the tennis courts; and even the
cameraman, who joined the production company after serving in the military during the war years — date it to either 1946 or 1947.
If you have any information pertaining to the film — for example, if you can identify people or locations or know more about when it was made — we’d love to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.