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Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00584

Scope and Contents

Records contain administrative files, including records of the Board of Directors; files documenting the AIAW's advocacy for parity in women's sports (Title IX controversy and other legislative inititatives, including passage of the Amateur Sports Act); AIAW involvement with other sports organizations, both national and international; coaches' manuals and other printed materials pertaining to women's high school and college sports; legal and administrative correspondence; legal files re: litigation in which the AIAW was involved, including the AIAW/NCAA anti-trust lawsuit; files pertaining to the AIAW-NBC television contract; and to the decision to terminate operations of the AIAW.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1962 - 2009


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

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. 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. 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

The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was founded in 1971 to govern collegiate women's athletics in the United States and to administer national championships. It evolved out of the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (founded in 1967). Through the 1970s, the AIAW grew rapidly in membership and influence, in parallel with the national growth of women's sports following the enactment of Title IX. The AIAW functioned in the equivalent role for college women's programs that the NCAA had been doing for men's programs. Due in part to its own success, the AIAW ended up in conflicts with the NCAA in the early 1980s. Following a one-year overlap in which both organizations staged women's championships, the AIAW discontinued operation and most member schools continued their women's athletics programs under the governance of the NCAA.


41.396 linear feet (39 containers)

Language of Materials



The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women records contain administrative records related to women's collegiate athletics in the 1970s and 1980s, including records of anti-trust litigation with the NCAA and AIAW's advocacy for parity in women's sports. The records also include materials pertaining to AIAW's management of high school and collegiate women's sports, including coaches' handbooks, brochures, and event programs.


The collection has been left in the same order it was in when it came to Smith Special Collections. Similar material is often grouped together, but no attempt has been made to reoder files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Margot Polivy and Leotus Morrison donated the collection to Smith College in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

Related Materials

Eastern Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, Massachusetts Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Records

Processing Information

In May 2019, the AIAW Collection was processed by Madison White and Maddie Michels. The collection was rehoused and condensed from 40 boxes into 38. Duplicate items were rehoused into a 39th box. The collection maintained its prior order and no items were discarded; some spacers were removed and books, pamphlets, and other such items were placed into folders. Paper clips and metal connectors were removed from some items in order to protect paper from rust.

The duplicates in box 39 were discarded in September 2023.

Finding aid to Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women records
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-04: Updated legacy finding aid and added further notes.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063