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Athletics Subject Files

Identifier: CA-MS-00167

Scope and Contents

The Athletics Subject files contain materials describing the various sports and sports-related activities at Smith College. The files include sports played both officially and unofficially, on an intramural or intercollegiate basis. They also include records of outdoors activities and clubs, and events involving athletics demonstrations, such as Field Day and Float Night. The basketball files within the collection also include general basketball history. Types of materials include photographs, news clippings, game scores, team lists, pamphlets, programs, ticket stubs, rules, and newsletters.

Please note that early athletics games were held between class years. Therefore, any information from a particular year or game might be found either in the year of the event or in the class years of the participants.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1800 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; 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 Smith College, 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 / Historical

Athletics have been an important part of Smith College life since Senda Berenson started the program in the late 1800's. The first women's collegiate basketball game was held at Smith in 1893 after Berenson adapted the game for women. For many years, all freshmen and sophomores were required to take a sport as part of their regular studies. The Smith College Athletic Association prevented intercollegiate competition, maintaining that it would hurt the spirit of friendly intramural competition at the college, but the intramural programs drew much interest, and spots on class teams were highly coveted. The first intercollegiate games were allowed in 1971, and Smith College joined the Northeast Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In 1981, Smith became the first women's college to join the NCAA, in which it remains a division III member today.


23.967 linear feet (50 containers)

0.008 Gigabytes (8 .jpg and .png files)

Language of Materials



The Athletics Subject Files contain a wide range of information about the history of sport at Smith College.

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 or email to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Athletics Subject Files were donated to the Smith College Archives over a period of time from a variety of sources, including the Department of Athletics.

Related Materials

  1. 42. Dorothy Ainsworth Papers
  2. 42. Senda Berenson Papers
  3. 52. Physical Education Department Records
  4. 80. Athletic Association Records

Processing Information

Please note that prior to 2018, folder inventories were not always updated when new material was added to the collection. As a result, folder inventories may not be complete and folder numbers may be incorrect.

Finding aid to the Athletics Subject Files
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Tiffany Tawzer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2018-11-03: Updated to conform to DACS and add box numbers

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063