Detailed plans were drawn up for an international event in Barcelona, featuring chess, an art exhibition and non-competitive displays of gymnastics, baseball, handball and the folk songs and dances of the world, as well as more typical Olympic fare.
Yet despite considerable public support, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War meant that the radical dream of an alternative Olympiad never came to fruition, leaving behind a haunting series of posters and programmes.
These images form part of the University of Warwick's new online archive, the largest English-language digital collection on the conflict, now accessible under the title "Trabajadores: The Spanish Civil War through the eyes of organised labour".
More than 13,000 pages of documents including letters, reports and publicity material from sources such as the Trades Union Congress have been digitised by the university's Modern Records Centre over the course of about a year.
Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to firstname.lastname@example.org.