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Margaret Bell papers, 1919-1956

6 linear feet

Correspondence and other files of Margaret Bell, chairman of the Department of Physical Education for Women of the University of Michigan, and physician in the University Health Service. Materials relate to University activities, conferences and speeches, copies of articles and other writings, and photographs.

The papers support the work and activities of Margaret Bell as Professor of Physical Education, Chairman of Department of Physical Education for Women, and a physician in Health Services at the University of Michigan from 1923 to 1956, and are divided into two sub-groups of personal activities and those specific to the University of Michigan.

The strength of the papers is found in the correspondence and reports which show the growth of physical education programs for women at the University and the identification of issues important to physical education and health in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, with the correspondence, speeches, and publications of Margaret Bell. Historical records about the Women's Athletic Building and the Women's Athletic Association are also important.

Significant correspondents include: Amos Alonzo Stagg, John Dewey, and Elmer D. Mitchell, as well as other physical education professionals: Elizabeth Halsey, Ernest Jokl, Julian Smith, Ruth Glassow, Jay B. Nash, Charles Harold McCloy, Mable Lee, Vance Blanchard, and Charles Forsyth.

Topics of special note include the article, "Athletic Competition for Women," written for AAU March, 29, 1954, as well as other articles about the physiological effects of exercise and sport for women. During the 1950s and early 1960s college women participated in playdays and sportsdays, rather than the organized intercollegiate athletic programs of the present day. There was concern that women were not physically capable of such strenuous demands of full-court basketball and were limited by the rules to half-court play during the 1950's, with two rovers being added in the 1960's.


Women's Athletic Association (University of Michigan) records, 1905-1962

6 linear feet

Records, 1905-1962, of the Women's Athletic Association of the University of Michigan. Include constitution, minutes, reports, and other materials; also record books detailing administration of Michigras and Spring Weekend, social and fund-raising activities jointly sponsored with the Michigan Union.

The records contain the original constitution and those of 1953 and 1959, officers reports (1955-1961), executive committee record books (1905-1929), record books (1917-1960), lists of officers, and annual reports of activities. Newsletters, scrapbooks, and photograph detail the activities of the W.A.A., including those of the Michigras Committee and the Spring Weekend Committee.

Researchers interested in the Women's Athletic Association should also consult the records of the Department of Physical Education for Women, which include a history of the Women's Athletic Association.