In partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), IUPUI University Library brings 100 years of track history to life through a collection of free online audio stories. The short oral histories offer race insights and commentary and are accompanied by photographs of some of the most important moments in the life of the Indianapolis 500.
The oral race summaries expand on a one of a kind digital repository that captures the history of IMS through more than 14,000 images taken from 1879 to 2013. Thanks to grants from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library services and administered by the Indiana State Library, the photographs can be viewed on the IUPUI University Library’s website. Just Google: Digital Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With the help of Donald Davidson, IMS historian since 1998, the oral histories were created by a 2013 IUPUI graduate, from the school of Informatics, Joe Skibinski. There are currently 66 audio histories and the collection continues to grow. Among the highlights are the 1960 race during which Jim Rathmann edged out Rodger Ward by 12.75 seconds and a flashback to the 2006 showdown when Sam Hornish Jr. pulled alongside Marco Andretti on the front stretch in a sprint to the finish to win by 0.0635 seconds. Some vignettes feature clips of the IMS Radio Network’s broadcast coverage with iconic announcers like Sid Collins and Paul Page.
This online collection allows users from across the world to explore the storied past of the landmark that has put Indianapolis at the epicenter of motorsports history for one hundred years. Visitors to the site can search for a favorite year of Indianapolis 500 racing, a favorite driver or car and more. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection is one of more than 60 online collections created by the IUPUI University Library and its community partners, including Conner Prairie Living History Museum, in nearby Fishers, and the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper. To browse the digital collections, visit the library on the web.
Located at 755 W. Michigan Avenue in the heart of the IUPUI campus, the University Library is a public library, serving nearly one million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users. University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources. Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card.