The Centennial Olympic Games Collection is comprised of 6,000 objects documenting all aspects of the 1996 Summer Games hosted by Atlanta, from the bid process through their legacy. The collection includes architectural models, licensed merchandise such as souvenir pins, volunteer and staff uniforms, costumes, street banners, flags, and the object that defined the Look of the Games: “A Quilt of Leaves.” It also contains sports equipment and accessories, victory medals, sports uniforms, and gifts to Atlanta from National Olympic Committees around the world. Significant objects from other Olympic Games, including torches (1936-Beijing) and participation medals (1896-Beijing), are some of the collection highlights.
The Centennial Olympic Games Collection was assembled by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and affiliated corporations, including the Georgia Amateur Athletic Foundation and the Atlanta Organizing Committee. Artifacts in the collection document efforts beginning in 1987 to host the Centennial Games. After Atlanta was selected in 1990, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games produced the Games of the XXVI Olympiad (July 20-August 4, 1996). The identification, collection, and preservation of materials by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games resulted in the core collection, which was donated to the Atlanta History Center in 2002.
The collection documents the design and construction of venues, the activities of a four-year Cultural Olympiad, the creation and development of graphic standards for the Games, the licensing and marketing of merchandise, and the running of the Centennial Olympic Torch Relay. This museum collection is complemented by a significant Centennial Olympic Games archival collection in the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.