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An Exhibition from the Edward North Robinson Collection of Brown Athletics
by University Archivist Martha Mitchell

Edward North Robinson, class of 1896, was one of the most beloved and successful football coaches in Brown's history, leading his teams to seventeen winning seasons between 1900 and 1919. The Edward North Robinson Collection of Athletics was established in 1943 by "Robbie's" friends who purchased the library of the Boston Athletic Association and also donated their own scrapbooks, photographs, and other memorabilia. In December 2000, the Collection was endowed by his grandson, Jackson Robinson '64. 

A resource for the study of Brown Athletics, the current Collection consists of more than 30,000 team, action, and individual photographs, over 900 reels of motion picture films (mostly football, some basketball and hockey), cartoons, files of media guides and programs, and records of athletic associations and facilities.

Objects of interest include an 1869 Brown baseball uniform, womens’ athletic costumes from the 1920s and later, game balls (baseball) from 1868 to 1947, the Olympic uniform of John Collier ’29, lantern slides of the Olympic experience of Norman Taber ’13, as well as the game ball and plaque commemorating the Brown-Yale 1895 football game, which resulted in a 6-6 tie, the first points Brown scored against Yale.

Interested persons are invited to add their contributions to the fund created by Jackson Robinson for the preservation, enhancement, and promotion of the Collection. Support from the fund will make possible the restoration and copying of motion picture films and the ongoing work of collecting material and compiling sports statistics.

We should also be pleased to receive additions to the Collection, such as photographs, athletic programs, and other items from former athletes and collectors of Brown athletic memorabilia.


Edward North Robinson
Class of 1896 

Coaching career: 
University of Nebraska 
1896-1897 
Brown University 
1898-1901 
University of Maine 
1902 
Exeter Academy 
1903-1907 
Brown University 
1908 
Tufts College 
1909 
Brown University 
1910-1925 
Boston University 
1926-1929 
Providence Steam Roller 
1931-1934


Opportunities for research:

Useful reference materials include:

  • Media guides
  • Scrapbooks of athletic clippings
  • Sports information press releases
  • A manuscript history of football up to 1950, written by Karl Koopman '13
  • Track records, compiled by David Farley '64
  • Accounts of women's sports compiled from student periodicals

One of the functions of the Robinson Collection is the compilation of game scores and narrative accounts for:
Men's Sports: Women's Sports:
Baseball
Basketball
Crew
Cross Country
Fencing
Football
Golf Field
Gymnastics
Hockey
Lacrosse
Rugby
Sailing
Soccer
Squash
Swimming
Tennis
Track
Wrestling
Archery
Badminton
Basketball
Bowling
Crew
Cross Country
Hockey
Firstball
Gymnastics
Lacrosse
Sailing
Skiing
Softball
Speedball
Squash
Swimming
Track
Tennis
Volleyball

This exhibit was on display at the John Hay Library from October 31, 2001, until December 31, 2001.


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