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Rally Day Files, 1885-[ongoing]
9 boxes (2.88 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 80

Abstract:
College celebration. Contains convocation programs, texts of speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings, press releases, show programs and scripts,dance programs, tickets, and class songs.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

All of the files are open to the public according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. In order to publish any material contained in the records of Rally Day, permission must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

"The origins of Rally Day can be traced to a series of annual celebrations for George Washington's birthday, the first of which was held at Smith College in February 1876. Over time, these celebrations evolved from essentially social dinners or receptions into daylong college events. The addition of a 'rally' to the day in 1894 was eventually reflected in the name Rally Day, first used in 1906. The celebration is now held annually on the third Wednesday in February.

Through the years, students have sponsored and participated in a range of activities: rallies, debates, basketball rivalries, dramatic presentations, singing and dancing. The current tradition of sponsoring an event to benefit a charity began in 1918 when the Rally Day Show was held to raise funds for the Smith College Relief Unit serving in World War I France.

The Smith College Medal has been awarded to outstanding alumnae at Rally Day since 1973. The medalists have become an important part of the program, speaking prior to convocation in classes and afterward in conversations with students.

Dress at Rally Day has evolved as well. In 1944, the senior class began wearing its graduation caps and gowns to the convocation. The day still marks the first time the seniors publicly wear their gowns. In recent years, however, the caps have been replaced by inventive hats of the students' choosing (and sometimes of their own making), in keeping with the 'rallying' and spirited nature of the day." (From the Rally Day Convocation Program February 23, 2000)

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The majority of the material is composed of convocation programs, texts of speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings, press releases, show programs and scripts. The files also include dance programs, tickets, and class songs. There are only a few items documenting Rally Day before 1896.

All of the materials are arranged chronologically except the general files which are arranged alphabetically.

Additional materials located in the Audio Visual Collection include videos of Rally Day shows, long playing recordings of songs and shows, one digital audio tape of the Glee Club, and audio cassettes of convocation speeches, shows, and a few Smith College Medalists panel discussions. Refer to the audio visual catalogue for more information and locations. Student scrapbooks may also contain materials on Rally Day.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

All of the files are open to the public according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. In order to publish any material contained in the records of Rally Day, permission must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Rally Day Files, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The materials in the Rally Day files came to the College Archives as they were created by students and staff and as gifts from alumnae.

Accruals:

Additions to these records arrive in the College Archives on a regular basis. Please contact the College Archives for the most up-to-date information.

Processing Information

Processed by Aimee Brown.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives

Language
English.