Creator(s): Dublin University Harriers
Dublin University Athletics Club
Administrative History ↴
On the 28th February 1857 Dublin University Football Club Foot-Races were inaugurated in College Park. There were only five events initially: 150 yards, 440 yards, 3 miles, high-jump and long-jump. They proved such a success that it was decided to hold another meet a month later under the new title of the University Foot-Races Committee. In 1872 Dublin University Athletic Club was born out of University Foot-Races Committee. In 1873 Trinity’s A.C. Courtney broke the world record for the 1000 yards in College Park with a time of 2 minutes 23.2 seconds. The following year John Lane of Trinity became the first jumper to go beyond the 23 feet, also in College Park. A number of the events in the College Races of the period included unorthodox events such as long-jump with trapeze, a Siamese race, a three mile walk, and a cricket ball throw. The average attendance at this time was 25,000 with seating for around 3,000. After 1881 the races became less social event and more of an internal college event. In 1882, the Dublin University Athletic Club was disbanded and became part of the Dublin University Athletic Union and in 1885 an official college team was named Dublin University Harriers and Athletics Club. Oscar Wilde was a notable member of the club.
In 1965 the Women’s Athletic Club was formed, prior to that the involvement of women in college athletics was very limited.
Source: ‘DU Harrier and Athletic Club: a centenary history 1885-1985’ ed. Alan Gilsenan (1985)
Archival History ↴
The material was transferred from the club to the manuscripts division of the library
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Dublin University Harriers
Dublin University Athletics Club ↴
The collection contains material relating to the Dublin University Foot-Races committee (1865-1885), Dublin University Athletics Club, Dublin University Harriers and some papers concerning the Dublin University Central Athletics Committee/Club. A scrapbook of newspaper cuttings compiled by Ernest H Greene between 1881-1887 contains cuttings about Dublin University rugby, football, cricket, lawn tennis and County Dublin Boxing Club in addition to athletics. Volumes of newspaper cuttings also concern Oxford versus Cambridge Athletics c. 1895 and Dublin University Harriers 1905-1913. Programmes of events relate to race meets and championships held between clubs and universities.
The committee and annual general meeting minute books for the DU Harriers and Athletic Club cover 1929-1948. Transcripts made by Dr EJM Watson reveal some of the early history of the DU Athletic Club in the 1870s and were presented by him to the club along side other material ref. MUN/Club/Athletics 4-28. A sequence of team photographs of the DU Harriers and Athletic Club (1936-1938, 1955-1959, 1961-1964) contains identifications of all athletes.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
The collection is arranged as follows:
Scrapbook relating to DU athletics, rugby, football, cricket, lawn tennis and County Dublin Boxing Club 1881-1887
University Athletic Union’s Athletic Sports programmes
Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings related to Oxford versus Cambridge University athletics
DU Harriers and Athletic Club; minutes, programmes of events, photographs
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A full descriptive list can be consulted in the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library, Trinity College Dublin
Archive Web Link →
Further related material is held in the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library, Trinity College Dublin:
TCD MUN/V/98/38 A scrapbook of James Lyle containing presscuttings about the DU Boat Club, the DU Athletic Club and the College Historical Society.
TCD MS 4693/13 Champion’s seal impression (pendant cross)
‘DU Harrier and Athletic Club: a centenary history 1885-1985’ ed. Alan Gilsenan (1985)
Descriptive Control Area
Natalie Milne, February 2014
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997. UK Archival Thesaurus (UKAT)