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W. Arthur Koski Papers, 1946-1983

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: W. Arthur Koski Papers, 1946-1983

Predominant Dates: 1950-1960

ID: MSS Koski

Primary Creator: Koski, William Arthur

Extent: 0.4 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The W. Arthur Koski Papers primarily document Koski's role as coach of men's swimming teams at Oregon State College, primarily from 1952 to 1959. Koski earned a BS degree from Oregon State in 1949 and was a faculty member in health and physical education from 1950 until his retirement in 1984.

Scope and Content Notes

The W. Arthur Koski Papers consist of materials generated and assembled by Koski, primarily documenting his role as coach of the Oregon State College men's swimming teams. The papers include correspondence, swim meet programs and summaries, newspaper clippings, publications, team rosters, two scrapbooks, photographs, and a motion picture film. The publications include informational brochures with references to Koski and the Oregon State swimming program as well as other campus athletic facilites. A 1960 workbook for a physical education course on fitness written by Oregon State faculty, William Winkler and Richard Cramer, is part of the collection.

The scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, photographs, swim meet results, speech notes, and a greeting card. In addition to the photographs that are included in the scrapbooks, the collection includes images depicting swim meets and team members. Koski is included in many of the group photographs of team members. Koski's student body cards from his student years at Oregon State includes his photograph.

The motion picture film, Teaching Beginning Swimming, is an instructional production that Koski worked on while he was on a Fulbright Fellowship in Finland in the early 1960s. The 26-minute film is 16 mm b/w without a soundtrack.

Biographical / Historical Notes

William Arthur (Art) Koski graduated from Oregon State College in 1949 with a BS degree in Science. He returned to Oregon State in 1950 as an instructor in the Department of Physical Education for Men. In 1952, Koski began to rebuild the dormant men's swimming program. In his role as coach, the teams (often referred to as the Mermen) won titles at NCAA Northern Division and Far Western meets.

Koski completed his MS at the University of Michigan in 1950, EdD at Oregon State in 1954, and MPH at the University of California at Berkeley in 1959. In 1963-1964, Koski had a Fulbright Fellowship as a lecturer in physical education at the School of Education in Jyvaskyla, Finland. As a researcher, Koski studied the pulmonary physiology of non-smoking adults and conducted a survey of college health education departments. He served as chair of the Public Health Department as well as Assistant Dean and Head Advisor of the School of Health and Physical Education. Koski retired from Oregon State University in 1984 and died in 1991.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 41 photographs and 1 motion picture film reel; 2 boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The materials were donated to the Archives in 2009 by Koski's son, James (Jim) Koski.

Related Materials: Additional information about swimming teams and instruction at Oregon State are part of the College of Health and Human Performance Records (RG 031). Media guides for more recent Oregon State swim teams are available in the Sports Media Guides (PUB 054). Other photographs of Oregon State swimmers are available in Harriet's Photograph Collection (P HC). The Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center collections include the papers of several physical education and health faculty, including the Clair V. Langton Papers (MSS Langton), Natalie Reichart Papers (MSS Reichart), Edward J. Slezak Papers (MSS Slezak), Betty Lynd Thompson Papers (MSS Thompson), and the Public Health Department Records (RG 231).

Preferred Citation: W. Arthur Koski Papers (MSS Koski), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Koski, William Arthur
Cramer, Richard P.
Winkler, William (1933-)

People, Places, and Topics

Koski, William Arthur
Oregon State College--Students.
Oregon State College--Swimming.
Physical education and training--Oregon--Corvallis.
Swimming--Study and teaching.
Swimming coaches--Oregon--Corvallis.
University History

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.
Silent films.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.