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Hygiene and Physical Education Alumnae Section records

Identifier: 7H-HPE

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of records of the Hygiene and Physical Education Alumnae Section, dating from 1879-1975. Series I. Publications and reports (1879-1975) consists of Section Annual Reports and newsletters, the Wellesley College Bulletin and Calendar, Officer’s Handbooks, Treasurer’s Reports, and the Mary Hemenway Alumnae Association Bulletin. Series II. Section administration and activities (1891-1964) includes the Section’s Constitution and Methods of Procedure, records of the Section’s reorganization and eventual discontinuance, membership records, financial and Treasurer’s records, minutes of Annual Meetings and Executive Board meetings, letters to alumnae and the Editorial Comittee’s correspondence, records of honors given, and of Section Officers. Of note are files on Dr. William Skarstrom (Professor of Hygiene and Physical Education) and a fund established in his name, files on the 1952 symposium “Physical Education for Women in Modern Times” and a file on war service during World War I and World War II. Series III. Biographical data on alumnae (1920-1954) consists of biographical data kept on individuals from the Classes of 1891 through 1953, as well as non-graduates, and a file specifically on foreign students.


  • 1879-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. To make an appointment to view materials, please contact the Archives staff by email at or by phone at (781) 283-3745.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wellesley College Archives welcomes researchers to use materials in the public domain, to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law, and to request permission to use works whose copyright is held by Wellesley College. All materials from the Archives, regardless of copyright status, should be attributed to the Wellesley College Archives, Library and Technology Services when cited, quoted, or reproduced.

Biographical / Historical

In 1889 Mary Porter Tileson Hemenway established the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics. In 1909, the Boston Normal School was incorporated as the Department of Hygiene and Physical Education of Wellesley College, directed by Amy Morris Homans. Initially the program was for undergraduate students, including Special Students that had been enrolled at the Boston Normal School at the time of incorporation; the program granted certification after a two-year course. In 1923, the program began granting Master’s degrees to some graduate students. Undergraduates could take a five-year course which allowed certification or a Master’s degree with one year of graduate study. A new Recreation Building was opened in 1939, after the fundraising efforts of then-Director Ruth Elliott. The program was dissolved by the Trustees following the recommendation of the Academic Council in 1953. The Alumnae Section was discontinued circa 1963. [Information from: Glasscock, Jean, and Katharine Canby Balderston. Wellesley College, 1875-1975: a Century of Women. Wellesley College, 1975.]


6 Linear Feet (15 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection is physically arranged in original order, but has been intellectually arranged into three series: Series I. Publications and reports (1879-1975), Series II. Section administration and activities (1891-1964), and Series III. Biographical data on alumnae (1920-1954).
Wellesley College Alumnae Association. Hygiene and Physical Education Section. Hygiene and Physical Education Alumnae Section records, 1879-1975: a guide
File-level description by student assistant Paige Befeler, and collection-level description by Natalia Gutiérrez-Jones, Project Archivist.
2020 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository