Allison W. "Eli" Marsh (AC 1913) Papers
Scope and Contents
Publications, photographs, clippings, letters, memorabilia, academic regalia and other materials documenting "Eli" Marsh's career as a coach and professor of Physical Education, chiefly at Amherst College, 1917-1958, but also at Ohio State University from 1915-1917. The collection includes many letters received from his former soccer players at Amherst as well as materials collected by Marsh relating to Robert Frost, President Alexander Meiklejohn, and the transition of the Amherst presidency of the administration of John William Ward to Julian Gibbs, 1979. Many of Marsh's notes on physical education, games, and fitness are included in the collection, along with yearbooks from Marsh's brief professional appointments at Ohio Wesleyan University (1915) and Ohio State University (1917). Academic gowns and other memorabilia documenting his honorary degrees from Washington and Jefferson College and Amherst College are also a part of the collection.
- Creation: 1857-1979
Conditions Governing Access note
There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.
Conditions Governing Use note
Requests for permission to publish material from the Eli Marsh Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
Biographical / Historical
Allison W. "Eli" Marsh, professor of Physical Education at Amherst College from 1917 to 1958, was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on July 28, 1892. At Amherst he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a Master's degree at Harvard University. After teaching at Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio State University, he joined the Amherst faculty in 1917. During that time he was chairman of Department of Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics from 1950 to 1958 and was one of two men to serve twice as president of the College Physical Education Association. In 1924 he married Margaret Alexander.
Known to his students as "Eli," Professor Marsh was one of the chief architects of the physical education program at Amherst. He was consistently opposed to professionalism in college athletics and became a respected spokesman on the subject nationally.
Professor Marsh introduced soccer to Amherst College in 1920 and was its head coach until his retirement, compiling a 38-year record of 147 won, 62 lost, and 15 Little Three championships.
In retirement, Professor Marsh devoted much of his time to painting and held many one-man exhibitions in Amherst and Wellfleet, his summer home on Cape Cod. On his retirement, Amherst conferred on him the honorary L.H.D. degree in 1963, as did Washington and Jefferson College in 1971.
Allison "Eli" Marsh died April 3, 1976 in Northampton.
4 Linear feet (3 records storage boxes, 1 archives box, and 1 flat storage box)
Language of Materials
Publications, photographs, clippings, letters, memorabilia, academic regalia and other materials documenting "Eli" Marsh's career as a soccer coach and professor of Physical Education, chiefly at Amherst College, 1917-1958, but also at Ohio State University, 1915-1917.
This collection is organized into five series:
- 1. Personal Affairs, 1915-1971
- 2. Physical Education/Fitness, 1904-1958
- 3. Amherst College, 1923-1979
- 4. Printed Matter, 1857-1944
- 5. Miscellaneous, 1926-1951
Custodial History note
The Papers were acquired in two parts: first in 1996 and in 2003. As related materials were found in separate acquisitions, such items were grouped together, thus losing any original order that might have existed. However, much of the collection was in no discernible order upon acquisition. The 1996 acquisition was a gift of Eli Marsh's daughter, Ellen Marsh Schleicher. The 2003 acquisition came to the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections by way of the Smith College Archives, where a box of Eli Marsh's papers were found among those of Margaret Marsh, his wife and an alumna of Smith College.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Gift of Ellen Marsh Schleicher, 1996.
Transfer from the Smith College Archives from the papers of Margaret Marsh, 2003.
- Language of description
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