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Russell H. "Osie" Chapman track memorabilia

Identifier: MC118

Scope and Contents Note

The collection documents the track career of Russell H. "Osie" Chapman, Bates class of 1931, from his Quincy High School days through his college years. The collection contains many racing bibs, most of which are annotated with the meet, date, finish time and names of participants; also includes a scrapbook of photographs and clippings; two notebooks of news clippings and another containing handwritten notes chronicling his athletic record during junior year; also includes photographs of Chapman, his track team members and coaches, a reunion of track team members, American track star "Johnny" Kelley, and "Osie" Chapman Award winners; other items include varsity track certificates and college term bills.


  • 1923 - 1974
  • Majority of material found within 1927 - 1931


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Russell H. "Osie" Chapman was born April 17, 1909 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. After graduating from Quincy High School he entered Bates College in the fall of 1927 and distinguished himself as a freshman by winning the Maine Intercollegiate Athletic Association 880 yard run and repeating the win at the New England Championships. He also ran the final leg of the Bates one-mile relay team which won the Boston Athletic Association Games title.

Chapman served as captain of the track teams under Coach C. Ray Thompson during his junior and senior years and is ranked among the top track and field athletes in Bates history. He was one of the top middle distance runners in the world in the late 1920' s and early 1930' s. During his collegiate years he won events ranging from the 440 yard run to the mile run in meets on the intercollegiate and national levels. In 1931 in the IC4A meet at Madison Square Garden, Chapman came within one tenth of a second of the world record in the 880.

After his graduation from Bates, Chapman entered the insurance field and remained active in Boy Scouts and other youth activities until his death in 1971.

In 1974 his widow established an award in his memory. The Russell "Osie" Chapman Award recognizes outstanding Bates athletes who establish new college records in track and field.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Memorabilia including news clippings, photographs, annotated racing bibs, medals and pins, and a scrapbook and an athletic record journal documenting the track and field career of Russell H. "Osie" Chapman '31.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Acquisitions and Custody Information

Donated by Russell L. Chapman, son of Russell "Osie" Chapman.

Finding Aid for the Russel H. Chapman track memorabilia
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America
207-755-5911 (Fax)