Eye on the Game
Wheras the health & figure of the body, contribute much to display ye: endowments and Accomplishments of the mind, the youth in Dickinson College shall be permitted to learn such exercises are innocent, conducive to health, & external elegances as that approved of by the Principal and professors.
Benjamin Rush, A Plan of Education
for Dickinson College 1785

Even though Dickinson's early trustees and faculty did not carry through Benjamin Rush's intent to include physical education in the curriculum of the growing College at Carlisle, the students there played games from its very beginnings.  In the institution's second century, the pace and importance of sports and games to the culture of the campus quickened.  The first gymnasium was provided in 1884 and the first "adjunct Professor of Hygiene and Physical Culture" was engaged three years later.  At the same time as the new enthusiasm for games was developing, so was another "modern" wonder, the photographic camera.  This study is drawn from the relationship between these two "modernities" that has thrived on this campus and beyond, ever since.

All the photographs you will find within are drawn from the Special Collections of the Dickinson College Archives and all depict sport at the College over the past one hundred years.  As for this selection, which is only a very small portion of the archival holdings on this topic, no attempt has been made to tell a particular story of Dickinson.  There is no deliberate concentration on outstanding teams or athletes, no intent to describe the growth of sport for women, for example, and has no other planned point of view.  The aim is a series of "snapshots" of the recreational and sporting life of Dickinson, described and placed into an historical context, which will tell their own story.

The pages you will see are all the product of a group of novice history majors taking the Dickinson History Department's introductory methodology course during the autumn of 1997.  Their work here was a part of the requirements for completion of the term.  The instructor in this course retained the right to make editorial changes for presentation's sake, and in some cases this has been done.   But, in the main, the quality of the pages are as you see it, and you may find varying success which may well have related to the student's final mark in the course.

The best use of this "electronic book" requires advice for some, if not for others.  The pages are linked from a "chronological navigation page."  Click on the photographic essays you would like to view and you will be taken there.  Please use the "back" function on your browser to return to this table of contents, until we develop further the internal links in the "book."  Another item of technical interest and possible use is the fact that each photograph on an essay page is linked to its specific counterpart in the Dickinson Electronic Photographic Archive.  By clicking on the photograph on the essay page, you can reach the digital original, from this copy is taken and which is very often larger, more detailed, and completely open for downloading should you wish.

Since all images and statements here remain the property of Dickinson College, we would simply ask that if you download any photograph for your personal or non-commercial academic use, please always make a clear statement about its source and where the original is held.  A correct and informative description would be "original photograph held in the Special Collections of the Dickinson College Archives."  Any academic use which involves re-publication for commercial purposes can be arranged by contacting Dickinson College.
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Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
founded 1773