Archives and Special Collections
- Voyager Catalog
- Cliff Smith YMCA Postcard Collection
- College Records
- Digital Collections
- Links to Archival and Primary Sources
- Manuscript Collections
- Rare Books & Special Collections
- Babson Library
- The Springfield College Museum at Judd Gymnasia
- YMCA Hall of Fame
- The Birthplace of Basketball
Manuscript CollectionsArchives and Special Collections houses several important manuscript collections including the records of selected individuals and organizations with ties to Spingfield College. If you are interested in donating historical materials, please consult the page about donating organizational records and personal papers.
William Blaikie Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
Blaikie (1843-1904) was a lawyer, athlete, and promoter of physical training in New York City. He wrote How to Get Strong and How to Stay So (1879), which was popular in the United States and Europe at the turn of the century, and a manual entitled Sound Bodies for Our Boys and Girls (1883). This collection consists of 4 cartons of newspaper clippings, correspondence, and a few photographs relating primarily to Blaikie’s interest in sports (especially rowing) and physical training as well as his legal practice in New York. 5 cartons.
Crampton, C. Ward
C Ward Crampton Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection focuses on the professional career of Charles Ward Crampton (1877-1964). Crampton was a physician, medical researcher, and teacher during the early 20th century. His major contributions to the medical field include work with geriatrics and gerontology, adolescent hygiene and physical fitness, posture, and blood pressure and circulatory systems. Crampton also contributed to the Boy Scouts of America as a column writer for Boys’ Life magazine. Crampton served as chairman for many committees within the medical community and even founded an association himself. He became a strong advocate for preventative medicine and the maintenance of a personal medical record by individuals. The breadth of this collection encompasses his publications within the field in many of the different subject areas listed above. One can encounter hand written notes and papers, typed and printed manuscripts, correspondence, memorabilia through newspaper clippings describing his accomplishments, and photographs for his own research purposes. Highlights of this collection feature original photographs of Lou Gehrig used for a Boys’ Life article as well as evidence of Crampton’s involvement with the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions of 1928.
Dozier, Eugenie L.
Eugenie L. Dozier Papers
A professor of physical education at Springfield College, Dozier was a leader in dance education. She also taught at Ted Shawn’s University of Dance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The collection is comprised of four cartons of files relating to Dozier’s teaching career. 4 cartons. Although this collection has not yet been processed, a box list is available.
Gulick, Luther Halsey
Luther Halsey Gulick Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection documents the work of Luther Halsey Gulick (1865-1918) who was a pioneer and national leader in health and physical education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. From 1887 to 1900 Gulick helped establish and supervise the Physical Department at the International YMCA Training School (now Springfield College). Gulick moved to New York City in 1900, where he worked at the Pratt Institute High School and Russell Sage Foundation. Gulick and his wife Charlotte later founded the Camp Fire Girls. There are reports, correspondence, and essays related to the Camp Fire Girls within the collection. Much of the material in the collection covers Gulick’s professional career in New York City, especially the 1900-1912 period. There are four scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and other materials by and about Gulick dating from those years. Additionally, there is a scrapbook about Dio Lewis, a fellow physical educator, that Gulick created, and there are two bound volumes of outgoing correspondence from the Triangle Publishing Company, which Gulick helped establish at Springfield College in the early 1890s. A large portion of the collection comprises lectures and articles, both published and unpublished, that Gulick wrote between 1897 and 1912. These writings concern a broad spectrum of topics, including physical education, play, hygiene and health, gender roles, camping, folk dancing, and amateur athletics. Also included are correspondence—both incoming and outgoing—as well as minutes, notes, and other records of several of the national organizations in which Gulick was a leader, including the American Academy of Physical Education, the Athletic League of YMCAs of North America, and the Amateur Athletic Union.
Karpovich, Peter V.
Peter V. Karpovich Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection documents the life and career of one of the most influential exercise physiologists. Trained as a medical doctor in Russia, Karpovich was a professor at Springfield College for more than forty years and a founder and president of the American College of Sports Medicine. Included are 12 cartons of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, scientific equipment, and photographs of Karpovich and his research experiments.
Marks, Joseph E
Joseph E. Marks. III Dance Collection
Comprised of books as well as manuscripts, photographs, and scrapbooks, this collection documents the history of dance. Particularly important are documents relating to Ted Shawn, an accomplished dancer and choreographer, and early records of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Shawn’s dance studio in the Berkshires. Marks was a Springfield College alumnus (MS, 1951) and dancer with Ted Shawn, who taught dance at the College in the spring of 1933.
McKenzie, R. Tait
MS 508 R. Tait McKenzie Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
Robert Tait McKenzie (1867-1938)—physician, educator, and sculptor—was a childhood friend of James Naismith and a longtime colleague of both Naismith and Luther Halsey Gulick. This collection focuses chiefly on McKenzie’s artwork and professional life, and it contains manuscripts (by Hussey, Leys, and Wolffe) and articles about McKenzie, exhibition catalogs, and images of his sculptures. In addition to this, the collection contains a letter from McKenzie to Dr. James Huff McCurdy and a manuscript by McKenzie about his childhood friend and longtime colleague James Naismith entitled “Reminiscences of James Naismith.” The numerous images in the collection include photographs of McKenzie himself, as well as images of his artwork.
Morgan, William G.
MS512 William G. Morgan Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection documents some of the early life and achievements of William G. Morgan (1870-1942), who graduated from the International YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1894, and who created the game of volleyball at the Holyoke YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895. The materials within this collection relate primarily to Morgan’s connections to Springfield College and Western Massachusetts and to his creation of volleyball. Items within the collection include photographs, Morgan’s original application to the International YMCA Training School, articles about Morgan and early volleyball, correspondence with Morgan’s daughter, a video entitled “The William G. Morgan Story,” and a certificate of appreciation presented to Morgan by the United States Volley Ball Association.
MS 506 James Naismith Papers Finding aid (pdf)
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The materials in this collection relate primarily to the professional life of James Naismith. Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario, Canada in 1861. He graduated from McGill University with an A.B. in 1887 and Presbyterian College in Montreal with a religion degree in 1890. From 1890-91, Naismith was both a student and an instructor at the YMCA Training School (now Springfield College), and he continued as an instructor at the International YMCA Training School until 1895. During Naismith’s second year at Springfield (winter 1891), he invented the game of basketball. Naismith continued his education with a medical degree from the University of Colorado and finally settled at the University of Kansas as a professor and coach. Naismith retired in 1937 and died in 1939.
The collection includes photographs, the official records from Naismith’s time at the YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, two manuscripts about Naismith (one by his daughter-in-law and one by his friend R. Tait McKenzie, the sculptor), a manuscript by Naismith himself entitled “The Origin of Basketball,” Naismith’s correspondence with Springfield College’s Alumni Association (primarily George O. Draper), and a letter he wrote about basketball in 1898 to T.J. Browne. The rest of the collection contains materials about Naismith, including several articles, information about the establishment of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, letters from Forrest C. Allen and Paul Endacott, a nomination for the “Hall of Fame of Great Americans” at NYU, and numerous scrapbook pages filled with newspaper articles, photographs, etc.
Lawrence O'Brien NBA Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection documents O’Brien’s (1917-1990) career as Commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1975 to 1984. 27 boxes. Related collections: Larry O’Brien political papers at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and the White House Congressional Liaison Office Files at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Bonnie Prudden Papers 1979-1985
This collection comprises records of the Bonnie Prudden School in Stockbridge, Mass., 1979-1985. Formats include photographic prints, three photo albums, scrapbook, newspaper clippings, videotapes, and books by Prudden. Bonnie Prudden was a pioneer female physical fitness teacher through workshops, books, and various schools she has founded. 5 cartons.
Robinson, Edgar M. Papers
MS 505 Edgar M. Robinson Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection focuses on the professional life of Edgar Munroe Robinson (1867-1951). A 1901 graduate of Springfield College, Robinson was active in the establishment and development of the Boy Scouts of America, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the High School YMCA (HI-Y) during the early twentieth cnetury. In 1910 he became the first professional director of the Boy Scouts of America. Robinson also served as the Honorary Director of Boys Work Courses and the Advisor in Methods and Principles in Work with Boys at Springfield College from 1927-1937. The materials within this collection pertain largely to Robinson's work with and research of these organizations and institutions. Contents include Robinson's research notes and manuscripts, pamphlets, YMCA questionnaire responses, blueprints and sketches--many by Ernest Thompson Seton--of the Pueblo of the Seven Fires at Springfield College's East Campus, information about Native American artist Wo Peen (Louis Gonzales), planning notes and records for Springfield College's Freshman Camp, photographs, newspaper articles, and correspondence with Robert Baden-Powell, Ernest T. Seton, Daniel C. Beard, Charles B. Horton, and Gordon L. Foster. 4 boxes.
Seton, Ernest Thompson
MS512 Ernest Thompson Seton Manuscripts Finding Aid (pdf)
This collection contains a single manuscript by illustrator, naturalist, and author Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946) entitled “History of Woodcraft and its Offshoot, the Boy Scouts (Original Notes).” The manuscript focuses on Seton’s role in the establishment of the Scouting Movement, and it includes texts by Seton, copies of excerpts from letters and conversations that Seton had with men like Robert Baden-Powell, James E. West, and Edgar M. Robinson, and some actual correspondence with West and Robinson. The Seton and Robinson families were friends, colleagues, and correspondents, and Seton provided Robinson—who helped develope Springfield College’s Freshman Camp in 1930—with illustrations and blue prints for Pukwana Lodge and the Pueblo of the Seven Fires at Springfield College’s East Campus.
Stagg, Amos Alonzo
MS 507 Amos Alonzo Stagg Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
Amos Alonzo Stagg, known as the “Grand Old Man of Football,” was born on August 16, 1862 in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1890, Stagg became a faculty member at the International YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, where he stayed until 1892. During his time in Springfield, Stagg formed and managed the school’s first football team, was a captain of the baseball team, and even played in the school’s earliest basketball game. The materials within this collection relate primarily to Stagg’s connections with Springfield College, including Stagg’s official records, his correspondence with various members of the Alumni Association and the College, correspondence to Stagg from other football teams in 1891, and materials related to the dinner held at Springfield College in honor of Stagg’s 100th birthday. The birthday celebration materials include memos, committee minutes, programs, photographs, a short video, and correspondence. Additionally, the collection contains numerous newspaper articles and other articles in football programs and journals.
Steitz, Edward S.
Edward S. Steitz Papers
Steitz (1920-1990), a faculty member from 1948 to 1990, was a leading authority on amateur basketball rules. This collection comprises material relating to basketball rules (such as the three point shot) including films, audio cassette tapes, documents, and Olympics rule booklets. 7 cartons.
Vendien, C. Lynn
C. Lynn Vendien Papers
Vendien was a professor of physical education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a leader in international and comparative physical education. In addition to her professional files, the collection includes several boxes of slides she used in lectures and talks as well as books on physical education, sport, and recreation. 28 cartons.
Weckwerth, Charles F.
Charles F. Weckwerth Papers
Weckwerth (1908-2002), a faculty member from 1931 to 1975, was a leader in the field of recreation and adaptive physical education. 84 cartons. Although this collection has not yet been processed, a box list is available.
MS 509 George Williams Papers Finding Aid (pdf)
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Sir George Williams (1821-1905) founded the Young Men’s Christian Association in London in 1844. The movement spread rapidly, and fifty years later—in order to celebrate the organization’s Golden Jubilee—the directors of the International YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts invited Williams to address their graduating class of 1894. Because he was unable to attend the event in person, Williams wrote out and recorded an address to send to the School. The materials within this collection relate primarily to this address and the original wax cylinder it was recorded on. The collection contains the wax cylinder, its original shipping box, a transcript of the address hand-written and signed by Williams, an accompanying letter by YMCA Secretary W.H. Mills, the transcript of an hand-written address also by Williams, an article about the Jubilee celebration at Springfield, and later letters about the recording. There are also several subsequent re-recordings of the address (records, reel-to-reel tape, cassettes, CDs, etc.) and some lantern slides and photographs of and relating to Williams.