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Carole A. Oglesby papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00492

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection represents Carole Oglesby's professional activities, research and extensive writings. It contains materials related to the women and sport from the 1950s to the early 2000s.

Subtopics include homophobia in sport, racial awareness in women's sport, Title IX, the relationship between women's sport and feminism, and international women's conferences. Organizations represented in the collection include the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; National Association for Girls and Women in Sport; United States Olympic Committee; United States Collegiate Sports Council; International Federation of University Sport (IFUS); American Association for Applied Sports Psychology; Commission on the Status of Women; and the Women's Sports Foundation. Projects and conferences in the collection include the New Agenda, a conference planning the future of research in women's sport; the COACH project, which worked with Pennsylvania high school coaches; the 1977 Torch Run to Houston; and International Women's Year.

Oglesby's correspondence covers a wide range of personal, political and professional subjects, and reflects her role as a mentor and advocate for both students and professional colleagues. Additionally, there are letters to editors and others that reflect her advocacy for her own writing and reputation, especially when editors used her work without giving her credit. Her correspondence with other women who were instrumental in women and sport reveals a close personal network. A single letter or email might contain both discussion of their personal lives and relationships as well as discussions of current professional work that was going on in women's sport organizations and networks. Some correspondence and other materials are related to Oglesby’s former partner, Christine Shelton, professor emerita of Exercise and Sport Studies at Smith College.

The collection also contains a small amount administrative files and teaching materials from Temple University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This includes documentation of her leadership in the American Association of University Professors during the faculty strike at Temple.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1950-2018


Language of Materials

The majority of the collection is in English, but it includes materials in French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, German, Arabic, Norwegian, Romanian, and Finnish.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Carole A. Oglesby has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Carole A. Oglesby, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Carole A. Oglesby is a pioneer in the women's sports movement and one of the first "out" lesbians in U.S. athletics.

Oglesby earned her A.B. and her M.S. in physical education at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1961 and 1964 respectively; in 1969 she received her Ph.D. from Purdue University. She served as the first president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), and as the first president of Women Sport International. Oglesby opposed the merger of the AIAW with the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1982.

A leader in numerous national organizations, she has served as president of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport(NAGWS), and as trustee for the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF). She organized WSF's "The New Agenda" conference, which set the research agenda for women in sport in the early 1980s, including homophobia in sport. She also served on the executive committee of the United States Collegiate Sports Council for twenty-five years, an arm of the International Federation of University Sport, which organizes the World University Games.

Oglesby wrote extensively. In addition to her book, Women in Sport: From Myth to Reality,she was the editor of the Encyclopedia of Women in Sport in America, as well as several other monographs. She authored hundreds of articles, editorial columns, book chapters, and book reviews and has also been the editor of several journals relating to education, sport, sex roles, and psychology.

In addition to her work nationally, Oglesby has travelled the globe, explicating the connection between women's sports and women's rights, and she serves as a consultant to many athletic and women's groups. After nearly forty years of teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Purdue University, and Temple University, Oglesby went back to school to earn a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Temple University. She is certified as a trained practitioner in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and taught at California State University, Northridge, where she headed the Department of Kinesiology. She currently serves as the International Policy and Program Advisor for the Women's Sports Foundation(WSF).

Organizations documented in the collection (alphabetized by initialisms; bolded indicate some of the orgs where she held office or had a significant relationship in)

AAASP - Association for the Advancement of Applied Sports Psychology
AAC - Association of American Colleges
AAPERD - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
AALR - American Association for Leisure and Recreation
AAU - Amateur Athletic Union
AAUP - American Association of University Professors
ABA - Amatuer Basketball Association
ABLA - Amateur Bicycle League of America
AHSA - American Horse Shows Association
AIAW - Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women
ACIS - American Council on International Sports
ACTI - Athletic Counseling & Treatment Institute
AMA - American Motorcycle Association
ASA - Amateur Softball Association
ASCA - American Swimming Coaches Association
ASUUS - Amateur Skating Union of the United States
AWPENYS - Association of Women in Physical Education of New York State
CESU - Commission pour l’etude du Sport Universitaire
CNCA - Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics
FISU - International University Sports Federation
IAAF - International Association of Athletics Federations
IAPESGW - International Association of Physical Education and Sports for Girls and Women
ICHPER - International Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation
IOC - International Olympic Committee
IWG - International Working Group on Women and Sport
MAPECW - Midwestern Association of Physical Education for College women
NACWAA - National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators
NAGWS - National Association for Girls and Women in Sports
NAIA - National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics
NASPE - National Association for Sport and Physical Education (its Sports Psychology Academy started 1975)
NASPSA - North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
NASSS - North American Society for the Sociology of Sport
NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
NISC - National Intramural Sports Council
NJCAA - National Junior College Athletic Association
NOW - National Organization for Women
NRA - National Rifle Association of America
NWRA - National Womens Rowing Association
PCPFS - President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
USBF - United States Baseball Federation
USTCA - United States Track Coaches Association
USCSC - United States Collegiate Sports Council
USFSA - United States Figure Skating Association
USGF - United States Gymnastics Federation
USJF - United States Judo Federation
USOC - United States Olympic Committee
USMPBA - United States Modern Pentathon and Biathlon Association
USPA - United States Parachute Association
USSF - United States Soccer Federation
USTFF - United States Track and Field Association
USVA - United States Volleyball Association
USYRU - United States Yacht Racing Union
WAA - Women’s Action Alliance
WAGC - World Amateur Golf Council
WEAL - Women’s Equality Action League
WIBC - Women’s International Bowling Congress
WLRA - World Leisure and Recreation Association
WSF - Women’s Sports Foundation
WSI - WomenSport International


104.962 linear feet (101 containers)

88 items (12 CDs, 27 3.5 floppy disks, 9 DVDs, 17 VHS tapes)

4.85 Gigabytes (1,302 digital files)


Carole A. Oglesby is a pioneer in the women's sports movement and one of the first "out" lesbians in U.S. athletics. The bulk of this collection represents Oglesby's professional activities, research and extensive writings, and contains materials related to women and sport in the United States and worldwide beginning in the 1950's.


The collection is arranged into series based on when the materials were sent to the archive by Oglesby. The first series contains the accession that was sent in 2003 and all other series were received in 2018.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Carole A. Oglesby in multiple groupings in 2003 and 2018.


A few books not authored by Oglesby in the collection were found to be moldy and discarded at the time of accessioning, as was an original copy of Oglesby's thesis, a photocopy of which was retained. Confidential student and records of other's containing Social Security numbers, grades, medical or other personal information have been removed.

In 2019 several groups of materials were removed from the 2003 accession, including: unrelated books, pamphlets, newsletters, songbooks, and catalogs; widely available music; blank stationary and duplicate materials; unrelated objects and memorabilia; and one folder of material related to several children in South America that Oglesby sponsored through school. One folder related to Chris Shelton was moved to the Chris Shelton papers.

Previously separated material from the 1976-1977 Black Women and Sport workshops at Temple University was returned to the collection in June 2023 via Rita Liberti.

Processing Information

The contents of all computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to the Carole A. Oglesby papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White and Ellice Amanna
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Processing of this collection was made possible with financial support from the International Olympics Committee

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-08-29: First version of finding aid published
  • 2018-10-04: Legacy finding aid updated
  • 2019-04-18: Updated processed first series
  • 2019-07: Added digital object description for most recent accession

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063