Physical Education: c. 1917-1970s
26 Hollinger Boxes; 10.841 linear feet
The physical education records consist of materials relating to both the Physical Education Department and the extracurricular athletics organization. Materials include reports, calendars of events, class lists, physical exam results, Athletic Association handbooks and minutes, rules, team lists, and gym costumes.
History of Physical Education
Predecessors of the Physical Education Department and the Athletics Association included the bicycle club, which was founded by students in 1896, and a dancing class started in 1898. The Athletics Association was founded by students at Barnard in 1900 as a branch of the student government. The goal of the Athletics Association was to manage all athletics at Barnard during a time when the college had no physical education program. Membership with the Athletics Association bought a student access to games, tournaments, and the Tennis Courts. The Physical Education Department of Barnard was created in 1904 at the suggestion of the Committee on Undergraduate Athletics of the Alumni Association. The first class was a mandatory lecture in personal hygiene for students, as well as two hours of mandatory exercise in the gym each week. Physical education classes took place at Teachers College until 1917, when Barnard Gymnasium was opened. In the 1910s, after struggling with the Physical Education Department for control of sports at Barnard, the Athletic Association was integrated into the Physical Education Department, functioning as a branch that worked with team sports. Classes offered by the college focused on team sports, and popular classes were golf, tennis, and basketball. In present times, classes offered by the Physical Education Department focus more on cardio classes, yoga, and aerial acrobatics. Sport unaffiliated with the courses of physical education offered by Barnard took the form of intramural competition, with members of different classes competing against each other; in 1983, the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium was established (when women were admitted to Columbia) so that students at Barnard could compete against other schools through participation in the Columbia athletics program.
The physical education records include both the Athletics Association/extracurricular sports affiliated with Barnard and Columbia; and from the Physical Education Department at Barnard/required classes. Materials include uniforms from old physical education classes, early reports and minutes of meetings of the Athletics Association, scrapbooks, course listings and curricula, and annual reports and inventories. Highlights of the physical education records include details about the hygiene classes offered in the 1920s and records of archaic sports such as quoits. Photographs relating to the physical education collection may be found in the athletics photograph series. The photographs cover athletics done for school credit; highlights of the collection include those by Manny Warman, photographs showing relaxation and posture classes, and those with Marion Streng in them. There are about 700 photographs in the physical education photograph collection, and most are in black and white.
This collection has no restrictions.
This collection is located on-site.
Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard College Archives. The Barnard College Archives approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Barnard College Archives
Lehman Hall Room 19
New York, NY 10027