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Athletics at Brown University

This guide describes materials available in the Brown University Archives that pertain to intercollegiate athletics.


Representing over 150 years of athletics at Brown, this collection is an unparalleled resource of archival material relating to the study of Brown sports. Consisting of photographs, moving images, artifacts, posters, drawings, cartoons, administrative records, and publications, this collection traces the earliest days of athletic competition at Brown and Pembroke up through the modern era. This collection is supported through an endowment created by Jackson Robinson (Class of 1964), the grandson of famed Brown football coach Edward North Robinson.

Contact Special Collections via the Question Form to help you get started using our collections and staff expertise.  Brown University Archives is part of Special Collections in the John Hay Library. 

Secondary Sources

The Encyclopedia Brunoniana contains historical information about the sports listed below:


Physical Education










Aldrich-Dexter Field

Colgate Hoyt Pool

Smith Swimming Center

Olympic Games


The following secondary source materials contain information about Brown University athletics. Clicking on the links will take you to the catalog record for each item.

Many of the secondary sources listed below are the products of research using Brown University Archives collections. As you read these secondary sources, take careful note of their footnotes; they will point you to University Archives collections that may be helpful to your own research.

  • Bénézet, Louis Paul. Three Years of Football At Dartmouth : Being the Story of the Seasons of '01, '02 and '03. Concord, N.H.: Bénézet, 1904. (catalog record)
  • Bowman, John Stewart. Ivy League Football. New York, NY: Crescent , 1988. (catalog record)
  • Carroll, John M. Fritz Pollard : Pioneer In Racial Advancement. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. (catalog record)
  • Chudacoff, Howard P. Changing the Playbook : How Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015. (catalog record)

  • Goldstein, Richard. Ivy League Autumns : an Illustrated History of College Football's Grand Old Rivalries. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. (catalog record)

  • Kaufman, Polly Welts, et al. The Search for Equity : Women At Brown University, 1891-1991. [Providence, R.I.]: Brown University Press, 1991. (catalog record)
  • McCallum, John D. Ivy League Football Since 1872. New York: Stein and Day, 1977. (catalog record)
  • Tobias, Andrew P, Arnold L Bortz, and Caspar W Weinberger. The Ivy League Guidebook. [1st Collier Books ed.] New York: Collier Books, 1969. (catalog record)
  • Welch, Paula D, Lynn Page Whittaker, and Daniel H Rosenthal. Silver Era, Golden Moments : a Celebration of Ivy League Women's Athletics : Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, YaleLanham, Md.: Madison Books , 1999. (catalog record)

Athletics Records

Contact Special Collections via the Question Form to help you get started using our collections and staff expertise.  


Miscellaneous Athletics Papers, 1872-1983 (bulk 1872-1955) (MS-1O-1)
The collection includes correspondence, histories of football, and proposals for the Ivy League Agreement.

Brown University Department of Physical Education, Women coaches. Records, 1968-1978 (OF-1OA-2) (Size: 1 box)

Brown University Division of Athletics. Records of Athletic Committees and Associations, 1893-  (OF-1OB-1)

Brown University Division of Athletics. Financial records (OF-1OB-2)

Brown University Division of Athletics. Sports Information, 1891-  (OF-1OB-3)

Brown University Division of Athletics. Sport files, 1895-  (OF-1OG)


Baseball records (OF-1OG-B1)

Basketball records (OF-1OG-B2)

Crew records (OF-1OG-C1)

Football records (OF-1OG-F1)

Field hockey records (OF-1OG-F2)

Golf records (OF-1OG-G1)

Gymnastics records (OF-1OG-G2)

Hockey records (OF-1OF-H1)

Lacrosse records (OF-1OG-L1)

Rugby records (OF-1OG-R1)

Soccer records (OF-1OG-S1)

Swimming records (OF-1OG-S2)

Softball records (OF-1OG-S3)

Squash records (OF-1OG-S4)

Skiing records (OF-1OF-S5)

Track records (OF-1OG-T1)

Wrestling records (OF-1-OG-W1)


Brown University Division of Athletics. Athletic properties, 1924-  (OF-1OW-1) (2 boxes)

Women's College (1891/1896-1928) and Pembroke College (1928-1971)

Pembroke College Athletic and Recreation Association records, 1908 - 1972 (OF-1Q-A1zp)

The Pembroke College Athletic and Recreation Association (ARA) records contain correspondence, financial records, minutes, programs, reports and other materials related to the Association's activities from 1908 to 1972. The records document the activities of the Association, its relationship with the physical education department, intramural sports at Pembroke College, and some of the athletic interaction between Pembroke College and other women's colleges in New England. 

Brown University, Department of Physical Education. Women's Physical Education Files (OF-1OA-1zp), 1914-1976
Size: 8 boxes


Athletic Scrapbooks (SB-1O-1), volumes 1-28, 1940-1973

Brown University Division of athletics (SB-1O-Z2), 1911 - 1945
Tickets for athletic events.  v.1: 1911-1941, v.2: 1941-1945; v.3: Box of miscellaneous (tickets: 1868, 1885-1886, 1890, 1903, 1903-1904, 1913-1918, 1922-1918;1922-1953, 1958-1961)

Pembroke College, Department of Physical Education (SB-1OA-1zp), 1919-1972
11 volumes.; Compiled by the department, these scrapbooks contain clippings, programs, photographs, and some letters that document every aspect of the department's activities.  They indicate, for example, the department's involvement in May Day, the Sophomore Masque, athletics, dance, the Athletic and Recreation Association, and interclass competitions.  Some clippings are about department faculty.  All of the scrapbooks, particularly the earliest ones, are very fragile. Most photographs in the first two volumes, and a few in the fifth, were removed to the University Archives photograph File: 1-ZP Department of Physical Education Scrapbooks. Photocopies were left in their stead.

Additional University Archives Records

Contact Special Collections via the Question Form to help you get started using our collections and staff expertise.  


This collection includes files containing newspaper clippings, circulars, notices, pamphlets, brochures, and other miscellaneous materials documenting a wide variety of topics on Brown's history. The topic files are an excellent starting point for any researcher beginning a research project on an aspect of Brown's history.


This collection includes artifacts, ephemera, and memorabilia documenting numerous aspects of University history, including presidents, students, alumni, athletics, fraternities, sororities, academics, commencements, and reunions.  Includes class rings, class pins, sorority and fraternity pins, badges, lockets of hair, uniforms, dresses, clothing, medals, pennants, flags, plaques, trophies, furniture, liquor flasks, perfume flasks, canes, and scientific instruments.


This collection consists of files of biographical information about alumni, faculty, administrators, and officers of the University. Alumni questionnaires, obituaries, and newspaper clippings are the common items found in these files.


There are over 60,000 photographs depicting campus scenes, buildings, groups, events, student activities, athletic teams and events, and individual faculty members, students, and alumni preserved and accessible in the University Archives.

Other photographs may be found in enormous leather-bound class albums owned by graduates from 1857 to 1904. There are about 100 of these albums containing photographs of seniors, buildings, and student groups. The Robinson Collection of athletics depicts 125 years of Brown athletics. The earliest photograph is a daguerreotype taken of the class of 1847 as seniors. There are also drawings, etchings, and cartoons, and several hundred glass slides of campus scenes around the turn of the century.

Images of Brown (digitized images)
The Images of Brown digital collection presents digital facsimiles of original documentary images in the Brown University Archives. The original images are organized into four broad topical series, described as follows:


Subject (buildings, events, student activities, etc.)

Sports – Individuals

Sports – Teams (contact for additional information)

The original photographs in the Photograph Collection are available for consultation by researchers in the Special Collections Reading Room at the John Hay Library. Please contact with questions or to have materials placed on reserve for you.


University Publications

Brown Alumni Magazine, 1900-present (alumni magazine) (library catalog record)

  • Access to digitized copies of the Brown Alumni Magazine (1900-1997) are available through the Brown Digital Repository.
  • Access to recent Brown Alumni Magazine articles are available on the Brown Alumni Magazine website.
  • With the September/October 1997 issue the Brown Alumni Monthly became the Brown Alumni Magazine.  The "new" alumni magazine decreased the number of annual issues from 9 to 6 but increased the size of each magazine (from 48-56 pages to 80-88 pages).

Brown Daily Herald, 1891-present (student newspaper) (library catalog record)

Pembroke Record, 1922-1970 (Pembroke student newspaper)

University Archives

Online (1923-1970):

Liber Brunensis, 1870-present (yearbook)

John Hay Library Reading Room

Brun Mael, 1909-1970 (Pembroke/Women’s College yearbook)

John Hay Library Reading Room

Additional Subject Guides