Springfield College Featured in New Museum of Springfield HistoryNovember 12, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 12, 2009 – The history of Springfield College is a featured installation at the new Museum of Springfield History, which opened its doors Oct. 10, 2009, at 21 Edwards St., and admission is free for Springfield College students, faculty, and staff with their college ID card.
The newest building on the Springfield museums campus showcases the great thinkers, inventions and industries that shaped the city’s development.
The College’s exhibit includes a mural and display case depicting Springfield College’s international and local impact. It appears along with such other Springfield “greats” as the Duryea automobile, Indian motorcycles, the Springfield Rolls Royce, Breck shampoo, Milton Bradley games and more.
The mural illustrates Springfield College’s origins as the School for Christian Workers with an emphasis on educating lay church workers and YMCA leaders, through to today with its consistent service mission.
Prominent images include James Naismith (Class of 1891) and William G. Morgan (Class of 1894), inventors of the games of basketball and volleyball, respectively; Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964 commencement speaker; John Ma (Class of 1920), father of physical education and sport in China; Amos Alonzo Stagg (Class of 1891), the “grand old man” of football; and others.
Augmenting the mural is a display with such Springfield College artifacts as a copy of the “basket ball” rules from 1893; an electrogoniometer, created by Dr. Peter Karpovich to study motion and athletic performance; a letter from Martin Luther King, Jr. (H ’64) to the College; and other items.
The exhibit illustrates that the College’s revolutionary teaching and research in physical education, fitness, health, education, human services and social services; its reputation as the The Birthplace of Basketball®; and its role in advancing the modern Olympic movement have brought international prominence to the college and the city of Springfield.
The 40,000-square-foot museum presents exhibits that describe Springfield's development as a manufacturing center, role in transportation history, and many inventions and “firsts” generated there, along with the stories of its diverse populations.
Exhibits interpret Springfield history in the larger context of American history in the 19th and 20th centuries. As a prosperous city growing out of the Industrial Revolution, Springfield reflects historical trends experienced by the United States as a whole.
The Museum of Springfield History, in the renovated former Verizon building, is the first new building in the Springfield museums campus in 75 years. Also on the campus are the Springfield History Library and Archives, which contain 2.5 million manuscripts, 50,000 photographs, 30,000 books, thousands of reels of microfilm, and computer databases for researchers and family genealogists; and the Springfield History Theater, which shows historical documentaries and presents educational programs. The museums are open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.