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Debate Society Records, 1901-2004
1 box (.03 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 80

Abstract:
Contains programs, photographs, and newspaper clippings documenting the Debate Society 's activities.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

While Smith students participated in campus debates as early as 1900, the Smith College Debating Union (re-named the Smith College Debate Society in 1976) was officially sanctioned during the 1914-1915 academic year. The purpose of the organization was "to encourage the open communication of ideas and interests outside the classroom," to develop the students' researching and speaking skills, and to create a Smith team that could compete in intercollegiate debates. At the invitation of Vassar College in 1918, the Smith College Debating Union entered the intercollegiate debating field for the first time. These early debates were exceedingly popular among students, who showed support by appearing in large droves at each event. President Nielson commonly presided over the debates held at Smith. In 1929, the Smith College Debating Union participated in its first co-educational debate against Dartmouth College. The name of the organization was, unofficially, changed to the Smith College Debate Team/Club in 1932. Debates were held on various topics, ranging from "Resolved: that Smith and Yale Should be Co-Educational," to " Resolved: That Woman's Place is in the Home." Holding upwards of 80 debates annually, the Smith College Debate Society was exceedingly active and attracted a large number of members. While interest in the club waned at the end of the 1920s, the organization was re-vamped in the 1950s and increasingly picked up stamina. In 1991, two Smith College debaters placed 11th out of 140 teams at the World Debate Championships in Toronto and were the third-ranked American team behind two teams from Yale University.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection spans the years 1901-2004, while the bulk of the material is from 1914-1956. It consists mainly of announcements for debates and newspaper clippings regarding the results of the competitions. In addition, the collection contains photographs of the Debate Society throughout its history and notes regarding its founding in 1914.


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

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

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

Debate Society, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Debate Society Records were donated over a period of time to the Smith College Archives from a variety of sources.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Contents List
History
1913-1991

Box 3012: folder 1
Memory book and posters
1980-1994

Box 3012: folder 2
Minutes and notes
1901-1916

Box 3012: folder 3
Programs
1912-1956

Box 3012: folder 4
Articles
1901-1931

Box 3012: folder 5
Articles
1932-1933

Box 3012: folder 6
Articles
1934-1990

Box 3012: folder 7
Photographs
1922- 2004, n.d.

Box 3012: folder 8

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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