HSP Receives Grant to Support Preservation and Access of Sports Collections

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HSP Receives Grant to Support Preservation and Access of Sports Collections

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) is proud to announce the receipt of a new grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to improve preservation of – and access to – eleven collections that document more than 150 years of sports history in the Philadelphia area. 

The collections include photographs, financial records, correspondence, and memorabilia that document a range of sports, including tennis, rowing, cycling, cricket, and gymnastics. Project staff will perform conservation treatments on selected items, rehouse the collections in archival-quality boxes, folders, and other enclosures, and ensure that each collection is arranged in a manner that facilitates research use. Projected project outcomes include supporting scholarship, enhancing displays and publications, facilitating digitization of collection materials and improving the public visibility of the museum's sports history collections as a whole.

The following collections will be processed as part of the project:


  • Marriott C. Morris collection on cycling, 1839-1937 (Collection 3712), 2.6 linear feet.
    • Marriott Canby Morris (1863-1948) was a resident of the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who attended Haverford College. He was an avid cyclist and accomplished photographer. The collection consists of materials that Mr. Morris collected regarding cycling and cycling organizations, including books, booklets, catalogs, serials, newspapers, photographs, ephemera, newspaper clippings, and other items.
  • Philadelphia Bicycle Club records, 1882-1902 (Collection 1357), 1.0 linear feet.
    • Papers of the Philadelphia Bicycle Club including: minutes, 1895-1902; treasurer's accounts, dues books, 1890-1902; charter, bylaws and amendments, 1885-1895; papers on the construction and repair of the clubhouse and on the expenses of running the club, 1886-1902.


  • Archibald Hunter Graham papers, 1927-1928 (Collection Am.3205), 0.7 linear feet.
    • Archibald Hunter Graham was a Philadelphia physician and amateur sportsman. The papers include a part of Graham's History of Cricket in Philadelphia, intended as a publication of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as well as copies of correspondence dealing with its compilation, editing, and the difficulties in securing money for publication.
  • Merion Cricket Club records, 1865-1923 (Collection 1353), 3.0 linear feet.
    • Scrapbooks containing letters, announcements, photographs, and clippings on the activities of the Merion Cricket Club.

Ethnic sports organizations

  • Alice Simon collection on the Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol of America, 1967-1993 (Collection 3497), 1.8 linear feet.
    • Alice Simon was a lifelong resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and an employee of the Connecticut National Bank until her retirement in 1974. She was a gymnast and officer of the Bridgeport Women's Lodge of the Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol of the USA. The collection contains minutes, newsletters, correspondence, bylaws, printed material and a plaque related to the Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol of America.
  • Marie Ward collection of New York Turn Verein memorabilia, 1925-1975 (Collection 3409), 0.2 linear feet.
    • The New York Turn Verein was founded under the name Sozialistischen Turnverein of New York in June 1850. The organization was granted its charter of corporation by the New York State Legislature in March 1857. This small collection of Turn Verein memorabilia dates from the 1920s to the 1970s and includes anniversary programs, booklets, and invitations; copies of the group's constitution and by-laws; a souvenir booklets from the concert ball celebrating the 100th anniversary of the singing society Gesang Verein Frohsinn; a program from the 1966 Swiss-American National Gymnastic Contest; and two 125th anniversary paperweights. Also included is a 1940 roadmap of Germany, which was published by Der Deutsche Automobileclub (DDAC) and bears the group's shield.
  • Slovak Catholic Sokol Assemblies Nos. 61 and 173 (Philadelphia, Pa.) records, 1920-1966 (Collection 3499), 0.6 linear feet.
    • Slovak Catholic Sokol is a social, recreational, and sports association open to people of Slovak or Slavic descent, organized in 1905. Its primary purpose is to unite Catholic Slovak Americans in social and recreational activities. The organization sponsors athletic events and provides scholarships and insurance benefits. The collection contains minutes, membership records, and financial records.
  • Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol Lodges Nos. 93 and 66W, undated (Collection D0302), 0.1 linear feet.
    • The collection includes programs, photographs, and organizational histories.


  • Malta Boat Club records, 1870-1912 (Collection 1525), 3.5 linear feet.
    • The Malta Boat Club, a Philadelphia athletic and social club, was founded in 1860. The collection includes financial accounts, correspondence, miscellaneous papers, and lectures on banking.
  • Penn Athletic Club of Philadelphia papers and photograph albums, 1922-1945 (Collection 1820), 3.7 linear feet.
    • Correspondence to and from several members of the membership committee of the Penn Athletic Club of Philadelphia, organized in 1922, showing their effort to create a large membership and to maintain that membership during the 1930's. Bills and other financial records of the club's house committee are also present. Additions to the collection include photograph albums of members, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous framed materials of the Penn Athletic Club.


  • Marilyn and Edward Fernberger collection on Philadelphia tennis tournaments, 1962-1992 (Collection 3265), 115 linear feet.
    • Marilyn Fernberger and Edward Fernberger were co-chairs of the Philadelphia Indoor Tennis Corporation. The collection consists of their records concerning 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.