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Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women records

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00367

Scope and Contents

The records of the Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women (EAPECW) provide substantial information about the establishment and development of physical education as a profession and as an academic discipline through most of the twentieth century.

The records consist of 13 linear feet of correspondence; minutes; reports; publications; programs; membership, committee, and officer lists; memorabilia; photographs and other papers relating to the history and activities of the organization. They date from circa 1910 to 1995 with the bulk of the materials from the period between the late 1950s and 1992 when the Association voted to disband. Significant information about the organization's early years is available in the records of meetings and conferences (in Series VIII), in the files on membership eligibility (in Series V), in files of some committees (in Series VI--see especially Expectancy Standards Commmittee, Research and Studies Committee, and Test Committee), and in newsletters (in Series X). Much more detailed information about the organization's prime years and its gradual decline is available throughout the records. The decision to disband is chronicled primarily in the records of the Executive Board (Series III).

Dates of Materials

  • 1910-1995
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1992

Creator

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.

Two Margaret Paulding lectures given by Doris Corbett and Lilyan Wright, respectively, are known to require authors'permission for reprints.

Biographical / Historical

Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women (EAPECW) was a professional organization for directors of collegiate-level physical education for women that existed for most of the 20th century, from 1915 to 1992.

The EAPECW had its genesis in 1910 when Amy Morris Homans, director of physical training at Wellesley College, called together women directors of physical training and heads of athletic associations in New England Colleges for an informal meeting. After four years of these gatherings, in 1915 the group officially formed as the Association of Directors of Physical Education for College Women to "discuss the problems of organization and administration of departments of physical education in colleges, and by definite cooperation, study, experiment, and research work, broaden the scope and increase the usefulness of such departments." At this time, physical education was a relatively new addition to the college curriculum and these women met to share ideas and information and collaboratively establish policies for the emerging discipline and its professionals. Membership was limited to directors of physical education in four-year accredited colleges and universities with appropriate facilities for physical education.

At annual meetings, papers and reports were presented and roundtable discussions held on a wide variety of topics to do with the administration of college departments and curriculum; status, pay, benefits, and retirement programs for physical education faculty; and various aspects of hygiene and physical and mental health including anthropometric testing of college students.

Similar associations were formed in the midwest and the west and in 1923 the regional groups voted to affiliate as the National Association of Directors of Physical Education for Women in Colleges and Universities. The EAPECW became known as the Eastern Society of that Association.

In 1941, directors of physical education in selected junior colleges were admitted to membership in the association. Physical education faculty and staff who were not department directors were permitted to join as associate members in 1946 and as full voting members in 1948. The name of the organization was changed to Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women at that time.

With the expansion of its membership, the EAPECW entered a second stage. Now part of an established profession, the association ran conferences that focused less on departmental organization and more on the latest trends in physical education. The association ran a speakers bureau and job referral service through its Personnel Committee and wrote a promotional brochure to interest high school students in the profession.

The 1960s and 1970s brought many changes to physical education. Women's participation came to be considered appropriate in an ever-expanding array of sports, college physical education requirements were abandoned along with many other academic requirements, men's and women's physical education departments merged, athletics (particularly intercollegiate athletics) saw increased emphasis in the curriculum, and the passage of Title IX set the stage for full participation of women in college athletics. All of these changes meant not only many more options for women in sport, but many more organizations for women physical educators. As physical educators became more specialized, their interests and energy shifted toward more specialized organizations and EAPECW's membership declined.

After lengthy discussion and study, as well as a needs assessment survey by a professional consulting firm, the EAPECW voted to dissolve at its June 1992 meeting "in order to preserve the history and integrity of EAPECW...rather than let it fade to insignificance."

As its legacy, the EAPECW established an endowment to support the Margaret Paulding Lecture Series. The Paulding lecture is given each year at the convention of the Eastern District Association (EDA) of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) by a woman in higher education who has made a strong contribution to the physical education profession.

Extent

12.396 linear feet (28 containers)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women (EAPECW) was founded in 1915 by various women directors of physical training from colleges in New England. This collection of EAPECW records documents the history and activities of the organization, as well as the establishment and development of physical education as a profession and as an academic discipline. Materials include photographs, correspondence and memorabilia. Topics covered include the benefits of physical education; the physical and mental health of students; and women in college sports.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into 10 series:

  1. Historical Materials and Memorabilia
  2. Administration
  3. Executive Board
  4. Financial Records
  5. Membership Records
  6. Committee Records
  7. Programs
  8. Meetings and Conferences
  9. Affiliations
  10. Publications

Arrangement

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. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records of the EAPECW were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection between 1975 and 1999 through the efforts of Beverly J. Becker (EAPECW President in 1975), Joyce Wechsler (EAPECW President in 1992) and Sharon L. Crow (EAPECW Treasurer in 1995). An additional collection of conference reports collecteed by Dr. Joan Hult, Emerita Professor at the University of Maryland-College Park, was donated and added to the collection in 2018.

Related Material

Related materials can be found in the Sophia Smith Collection in the records of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW), the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (MAIAW), the Physical Education Collection, and in the Smith College Archives in the Dorothy Sears Ainsworth Papers, the Senda Berenson Papers, and in the Records of the Smith College Department of Physical Education.

Related Materials

Related materials can be found in the Sophia Smith Collection in the records of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW), the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (MAIAW), the Physical Education Collection, and in the Smith College Archives in the Dorothy Sears Ainsworth Papers, the Senda Berenson Papers, and in the Records of the Smith College Department of Physical Education.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 1996.

Processing Information

Starting in September 2022, Smith College Special Collections will be renumbering many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Title
Finding aid for the Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women (EAPECW) records
Author
Maida Goodwin
Date
2003, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss21 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:13-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-07-06: 2018 accession added; top level notes updated; finding aid re-published

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063