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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 In recent years, however, the caps have been replaced by inventive hats of the students' choosing (and sometimes of their own making), in keeping with the 'rallying' and spirited nature of the day."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.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Series I General
(1885 -)
3 linear inches

Arrangement:

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each file.

Scope and content:

The subseries convocation programs 1911 - the present makes up the bulk of this series. The convocation programs 1962 and later contain a brief history of Rally Day. Other materials included are a list of Rally Day speakers 1894 - 1988, dance programs 1891-1892, odes to George Washington written by students, a chronology of the history of Rally Day, 1875 - 1926, the script for a Rally Day stunt, and memorabilia. The earliest item in the Rally Day files is in the Memorabilia folder of this series. It is a small handmade card from 1885 with a list of famous men such as George Washington and some of their wives.

Alumnae invitations
1990-

Box 3085
Committee memorandums
1989-

Box 3085
Convocation programs
1911-

Box 3085
Convocation speakers list
1894-1988

Box 3085
Dance programs
1891-1892

Box 3085
Flyers handed out at Rally Day events
1934-

Box 3085
History


Box 3085
Invitations to attend luncheon
1989-

Box 3085
Memorabilia
1885-

Box 3085
Memorandums to the faculty
1972-

Box 3085
Odes
1911-1932

Box 3085
Programs for basketball games and the crowning of the Freshman President
1948-1962

Box 3085
Schedule of events
1971-

Box 3085
Rally Day stunt
n.d.

Box 3085
Series II Newspaper clippings and press releases
(1894 - )
2.5 linear inches

Arrangement:

This series is arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

There are press releases and newspaper clippings for most, but not all years 1895 - the present. This series contains newspaper clippings, handwritten and typed press releases, biographical information on Rally Day speakers, short advances of speeches, and lists of Rally Day committees, crews, and performers. The newspaper clippings and press releases cover all aspects of Rally Day including speeches, Smith College Medalists, basketball games, shows, convocation, Rally Day committee members and performers, and dances. Newspaper articles are from national, local, and college publications. Most of the clippings are from Boston, New York, Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and Smith College newspapers. Press coverage is heaviest in the 1930s and dwindling in the 1950s. After the 1950s, press coverage is mostly limited to local papers such as the Hampshire Gazette and Smith College publications. The full texts of speeches are located in SERIES VI. CONVOCATION TEXTS. Additional information on speakers after 1965 can be found in the Honorary Degrees Files.

Newspaper clippings and press releases
1894 -

Box 3085.1
Series III Photographs
(1894 - )
10 linear inches

Arrangement:

The photographs are arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

They primarily feature the Rally Day shows, convocation, basketball games, students dressed up in costumes, and convocation speakers. Many of the early photographs feature Alumnae Gym where most of the Rally Day events took place. There is an early photograph of a student dressed up as George Washington (1896) and another dressed up as George Washington's slave (1895). Many of the newspaper clippings in SERIES II. NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS AND PRESS RELEASES feature photographs.

Photographs
1894-1959

Box 3085.2
Photographs
1960 -

Box 3085.3
Photographs
n.d.

Box 3085.3
Series VI Convocation Texts
(1930 - )
2 linear inches

Arrangement:

The texts of Rally Day convocation speeches are arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

Not every year's speech is included in the files. The biggest gaps are between 1951 and 1970, and 1972 and 1991. This series also includes the texts and a program for the 1970 Rally Day Symposium, "Is Today's Environment Tomorrow's Inheritance?"

Convocation texts
1930 -

Box 3086
Series V Rally Day Shows and Songs
(1893 - )
1.42 linear feet

Arrangement:

The files in this series are arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

Most consist of programs, scripts for skits, scores and texts of songs sung at Rally Day shows. Although the Rally Day benefit shows did not start until 1918, concert programs and the texts of songs sung at Rally Day pre-1918 are included in this series. Many of the songs are written to the tunes of popular songs. The text of one Rally Day stunt, undated, is in SERIES I. GENERAL. See also Students, Dramatics 1880-1881 for the script and photographs of a Tertiumm Quid play Pinafore of the Revolution performed February 23, 1881.

Shows and songs
1887-1945

Box 3087
Shows and songs
1946-1959

Box 3088
Shows and songs
1960-1989

Box 3089
Shows and songs
1990-

Box 3089.1
Shows and songs
n.d.

Box 3089.1

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Smith College--Rally Day.

Contributors
  • Smith College.


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