20th-Century Collections Guide: Sports, Recreation, and Travel

Personal papers and organizational records document athletic and social clubs and associations. Collections of family papers document American travel during this time period.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive guide to HSP's manuscript collections relating to the history of 20th-century sports and recreation. It is meant to serve as a starting point to help users locate collections that may be of interest to them.

See the 20th-Century Collections Guide main page.

HSP staff is regularly adding finding aids to the website. Users should click on a collection's title to see whether a full online finding aid is available.

Sports and Recreation

Travel and Tourism

Sports and Recreation

Athletic Club of the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia
Athletic Club of the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia records, 1876-1923 (Collection 1684) 2 boxes (0.66 linear ft.)
The Athletic Club of the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia was an organization of wealthy men interested in amateur athletics. The collection includes the charter, reports, programs, and other miscellaneous material of the Athletic Club of the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia, as well as some information on amateur athletics, 1887-1894.

Cleary, James J. (James Joyce), 1888-1974
James J. Cleary papers, 1837-1988 (Collection 3076) 15 boxes  11 volumes (5.8 linear ft.)
James Joyce Cleary (1888-1974) was a published writer, an athlete, a worker, a socialist, and a father.  Born in Ireland, Cleary immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, living first in New York City and then in Philadelphia, where he settled and formed a small family.  He worked at several different kinds of jobs during his life, but eventually started his own grocery business, Golden Dawn.  He was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed attending local track and field events.  He believed in socialism as a system that could positively affect American politics and economics.  Cleary endured decades of war, depression, and prosperity, and found a suitable balance between his Irish roots and American ways of life. This collection is rich with materials that Cleary collected and created.  There are folders of his poems and prose writings, some of which were published in local newspapers.  There are also several folders of his personal financial, legal, and work-related documents.  Additionally, Cleary saved sports programs, family papers, and numerous clippings from newspapers and magazines.  From some of these clippings, Cleary made large, full scrapbooks that define eras in news and pictures.  Also in this collection is a sizable amount of pro-socialist and pro-Soviet literature, clippings from Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent, and several Irish newspapers.

Dorizas, Michael M. 
Michael M. Dorizas papers, 1913-1958 (Collection MSS022) 12 boxes (4.2 linear ft.)
Dorizas was a Greek-American Olympic athlete and professor of geography. Born in Constantinople, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently taught at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. The collection consists of correspondence, lecture notes, writings, course materials, clippings, and other personal and professional papers. Also included is correspondence with the Order of AHEPA and other Greek-American organizations. Additional papers of Michael Dorizas are held by the University Archives, University of Pennsylvania.

Fernberger, Marylin; Edward Fernberger
Marilyn and Edward Fernberger collection on Philadelphia professional and amateur tennis tournaments, 1962-1992 (Collection 3265) 78 boxes (95 linear ft.)
This collection consists of Marilyn and Edward Fernberger's records of professional and amateur tennis tournaments held in Philadelphia between 1962 and 1992.  The material includes files relating to organization, promotion, finances, players, facilities, etc., together with scrapbooks, photographs, posters, and ephemera for Virginia Slims, U.S. Pro Indoor and other tournaments and tennis activities.

Malta Boat Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Malta Boat Club records, 1870-1912 (Collection 1525) 10 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)
The Malta Boat Club, a Philadelphia athletic and social club, was founded in 1860. Financial accounts, correspondence, miscellaneous papers, and lectures on banking.

McGlinn, Frank
Frank McGlinn collection of ephemera, 1880-1993 (Collection 3314) (75 linear ft.)
Frank McGlinn was a Philadelphia resident who collected over the years various Playbills, programs, broadsides, and other miscellaneous items belonging to various civic, cultural, athletic, and political organizations of Philadelphia.

Penn athletic club of Philadelphia
Penn athletic club of Philadelphia photograph albums, 1925-1945 (Collection D0078) 3 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Photograph albums of members, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous framed materials of the Penn Athletic Club.

Roxborough Turners
Roxborough Turners records, 1873-1981 (Collection 3056) 14.5 boxes 56 volumes (15.75 linear ft.)
Founded in 1873 in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Roxborough, the Roxborough Turners follow theories common to the Turnverein movement, which was founded in Germany in 1811. Turnvereins, which literally translate as “gymnastics clubs,” or “unions,” dedicated themselves to physical health through athletics and gymnastics. The Roxborough Turners arose from the merger of Turnvereins in two adjacent neighborhoods—Roxborough and Manayunk—and originally took the name Germania Turn-Verein of Roxborough und Manayunk, changing to the current name in 1954. The organization was a social and athletic club with their own hall, containing a bar, library, gymnastics and athletic programs for both adults and children, and entertainment and meeting space for rent or members’ use. As of November 2004, the organization is still active, and is located at 418 Leverington Avenue in Philadelphia. The records contained in this collection include a complete run of minutes, detailed financial and membership records, correspondence, certificates of achievement and diplomas, visitor and library registers, programs and pamphlets, and several uncataloged photographs. The collection is in English and German, with earlier records maintained in the old German script.

Travel and Tourism

Belfield papers (Collection 3159) 235 boxes, 99 volumes (106 linear feet)
The Belfield papers include materials from families who lived in the Belfield mansion in Germantown, Pennsylvania from 1826 until 1984. Featured individuals include William and Sarah Logan Fisher Wister, their son John Wister and his wife, Sarah Tyler Boas Wister, their granddaughter Sarah Logan Wister Starr and her husband, James Starr, and their great-granddaughter S. Logan Starr Blain and her husband, Dr. Daniel Blain. The collection includes significant documentation of world travel during the Great Depression, especially in Series IV and VII.

Bok, Curtis, 1897-1962 and Nellie Lee Holt Bok
William Curtis Bok and Nellie Lee Holt Bok papers, 1836-1991 (Collection 3096) (25 linear ft.)
The focus of this collection is the personal and professional papers of Curtis (1897-1962) and Nellie Lee Bok.  In addition, there is some documentation of their children (Derek, Enid, and Benjamin) and their Bok and Holt ancestors.  There are letters, travel journals, identified files, photographs, and printed materials relating to the illustrious careers of both Curtis and Nellie Lee.

Dwyer family
Dwyer family papers, 1854-1995 (Collection 3029) 60 boxes 34 volumes (26 linear ft.)
The Dwyer Family Papers primarily consist of the papers of Edward James Dwyer, a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis Maryland, who then attended Johns Hopkins University as a graduate student in engineering. He later became the president of Electric Storage Battery Company and served on the board of Quaker Chemical Company, Selas Corporation, and the National Association of Manufacturers. He was also a lawyer. The collection also includes many papers relating to Elizabeth MacLachlan Dwyer. The children of Edward and Elizabeth are also represented. This collection includes correspondence; class notes and thesis of Edward J. Dwyer; genealogical notes on the Dwyer, Root, Waters, MacLachlan, McDonald, and Hamblin families; scrapbooks; printed matter; and ephemera.

Lowrie and Derr families papers, circa 1844-1969 (Collection D1259). 28 containers (25 linear feet).
This collection of family papers documents at least two generations, based largely in Wilkes Barre and Philadelphia. It includes a large amount of family correspondence and photographs; marriage records; diaries; financial records; art work and a manuscript by Elizabeth Derr Davisson; research notes, manuscripts, and published volumes on Philadelphia history by Sarah Dickson Lowrie; and songs, poems, and plays by Thompson Derr. Documentation from 1910-1960 is more robust. Of special interest are materials relating to tourism in the Southwestern United States and Native American art, life in London during World War II, and Philadelphia history. This collection includes an extensive album of tintypes.

Minter, Lloyd C., b. 1914
Lloyd C. Minter papers, 1929-1999 (Collection 3318) 11 boxes 62 volumes (9 linear ft.)
This collection includes travel scrapbooks (32 v.) of trips to Europe, Asia, North and South America, and the Middle East, 1948-1998. Scrapbooks contain photographs, postcards, receipts, maps, souvenir brochures, ticket stubs, papers pertaining to the tour groups, and other mementoes.  Also included are diaries, 1929-1937, 1977, 1987-1999 (22 v.), personal account books, 1947-1977 (3 v.), address books (4 v.); and the diary of Minter's aunt, Mary Elcock Minter, 1942-1955.

Wright, Charles Adshead
Charles Adshead Wright collection, 1810-1982 (Collection 3013) 33 boxes (14 linear ft.)
The Wright Family Papers recount the story of an American family coming of age in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The story is told through the recollections and writings of Charles Adshead Wright, who began compiling his memoirs in 1923, at the age of twenty-four.  He titled his project, “The Story of a Life,” and noted, “It will be my purpose to record daily the experiences which I have had, and my own personal reaction to those experiences.”  His project went through several revisions and periods of dormancy in the subsequent years, but continued with the support of his family, who inspired him to write additional chapters that gave a chronological account of all of the activities of the Wright family.  He illustrated the text with family photographs, clippings, holiday cards, and other ephemera, so that by 1987 the “Wright Family History” occupied 108 binders and spanned nearly 172 years in the life of an American family.