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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Athletic Association records

 Collection
Identifier: AC-0070

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Athletic Association (MITAA) document the activities of MIT athletics during the early and mid-twentieth century. The records provide a window into a substantial activity of student life from the perspective of student leaders and athletes, and illustrate a long-standing tradition at MIT that encourages student self-governance. The bulk of the collection covers the time period 1925-1955.

Records in this collection reflect the day-to-day business of conducting athletics at MIT and chronicle the results of a wide variety of team sports in the twentieth century.

Field Day, an annual MIT tradition of intramural competition between the freshman and sophomore classes, is detailed in the reports of Field Day managers (Series 2. Manager’s Reports) and in Field Day programs (Series 4. Athletic Association Events Records).

The management of the MIT Athletic Association and information about its membership and committee activities is also included. Programs from various MITAA events and MITAA publications (including their constitution and by-laws) chronicle the history of athletics at MIT and the role this student association played in promoting sports activities.

Two volumes of athletic budgets, covering the years 1929-1931, were removed and discarded due to mold and water damage.

Dates

  • 1906 to circa 1971

Creator

Access note

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical note

Athletic activities in the early years after the establishment of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Massachusetts in 1861 were student run and supported; in order to participate, individual students paid their own expenses. Competition was largely intramural, with keen competition between classes. Intercollegiate events were also held, involving sports such as football, baseball, track and field, and tennis. Each team was responsible for raising funds to support its activities and for regulating and managing competitions, which after some years resulted in confusion sufficient to necessitate the establishment of an umbrella organization to provide oversight of athletic activities.

In 1904 the MIT Athletic Association (MITAA) was founded to manage and promote athletic activity at MIT, under the supervision of the Alumni Advisory Council on Athletics. A student organization, MITAA was responsible for distributing Institute funds to various sports teams, for providing general management and promotion of athletic activities at MIT, and for participating in planning and policy decisions. Membership included captains and managers of individual Institute teams and undergraduate members of the Alumni Advisory Council. When the campus moved from the Back Bay in Boston, to the much larger site in Cambridge in June 1916, new facilities and space were available for athletic activities.

MITAA oversaw the activities of several athletic teams, including baseball, basketball, crew, fencing, golf, hockey, lacrosse, swimming, and tennis during the first half of the twentieth century. The Association also sponsored various events, including Tech Field Day. Field Day, an annual MIT tradition of intramural competition between the freshman and sophomore classes, included favorite contests such as tug-of-war and the glove fight, a free-for-all in which participants attempted to capture the gloves and clothing of opponents.

After World War II, increased enrollment in undergraduate programs and in the Graduate School led to an awareness of the limitation of an advisory body to serve the sports, recreation, and athletic needs of MIT’s larger student population. Governance of athletic activities was reorganized, and more responsibilities were assumed by the Institute. In 1947, Ivan J. Grieger became the first athletic director and director of physical education at MIT.

Extent

9.5 Cubic Feet (28 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Athletic Association was a student organization established in 1904, under the supervision of the Alumni Advisory Council on Athletics, to manage and promote athletic activity at MIT. The organization oversaw the activities of athletic teams, distributed Institute funds to the teams, and participated in planning and policy decisions. The collection documents the business of conducting athletics at MIT in the first half of the twentieth century, after which the Institute assumed more responsibility for the athletics program. Records include budgets and other financial information, annual reports on various teams, programs from athletic events, and Athletic Association publications.

Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Department of Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) from the MIT Museum in January 1981. Additional records were accessioned in 1993.

Related Archival Materials

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gymnasium Committee minutes, AC-0002

Bibliography

  • Balch, Richard L., “The Role of Athletics at M.I.T.,” Technology Review, November 1959, pages 30-50.
  • Berg, Warren, “Athletics at M.I.T.,” Technology Review, April 1950, pages 315-330.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Athletics at M.I.T., A Handbook, Cambridge, Mass., 1978.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Intercollegiate Athletics at M.I.T., Cambridge, Mass., 1971.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Intercollegiate Athletics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., 1966.
  • Technique (MIT yearbook), 1887-
Title
Guide to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Athletic Association
Status
Completed
Author
Joan Haas; Alyson Reichgott and Judith Janec
Date
(Copyright 1981, 2002)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Contact:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US