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Springfield College Records: Marlin Club (RG 177)

This is the cover image of a four page program for the 1970 Movement, Music and Meaning Water show put on by the Springfield College Marlin Club in the Linkletter Natatorium on May 8th and 9th, 1970. The program lists the performances, the participants in the performances (including the "Natatographers), and Marlin Club Officers and people who helped with the show.

The Marlin Club

The Marlin Club began at Springfield College in the fall of 1961. It started as an all-women’s club that invited female students of all swimming skill levels to participate. The Club focused on the idea that “synchronizing routines in the water and interpreting and creating dance movements reveal the potential of originality” (yearbook 1962). The Club was continued as an all-women’s club up until the fall of 1969, when all deep water swimmers were invited to participate. The climax of the year for Marlin Club occurred in the spring, when the Aquatic Concert was presented to the entire student body and community. This Concert involved people of many talents to help with costuming, lighting, make-up, and all the other vital areas of show production. The Club further expanded their invitation to students on campus, noting that “previous knowledge of synchronized swimming is not required since a membership at all skill levels is desirable” (student handbook 1973). Those who wanted to learn were given the opportunity to learn choreography and the techniques of writing synchronized numbers. It was estimated that the club would meet and practice for a period of approximately 15 weeks, preparing for the Aquatic Concert.

The Club enjoyed its final year at Springfield College, performing its last show in the spring of 1978. Prior to the Marlin Club, there were other swim clubs at Springfield College. From the fall of 1938 to the spring of 1960, the primary swim club was called the Aquatic Club. Springfield College started accepting women into the college in the fall of 1951. With the first class of women students, the Women’s Recreation Association began and gave opportunities to women to participate in intramural, extramural and recreational activities. The Association started the Swimming Club between the fall of 1951 and the fall of 1952. The Club was later called the Synchronized Swimming Club and eventually shortened to the Swim Club. It invited women who had basic skills in aquatics and who were also interested in increasing those skills through participation in rhythmical swimming routines to join. In 1961 the Club was finally renamed to the Marlin Club.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Marlin Club Records collection contains photographs, programs and one video created by the Marlin Club and its predecessors, the Synchronized Swimming Club, the Swim Club and the Swimming Club. These materials begin with photographs taken of synchronized swimming being performed in McCurdy Natatorium during the early ‘50s. These are pictures from when the club was known as the Synchronized Swimming Club and was only available to women. Also included are programs from the Water Show “Movement, Music and Meaning” presented by the Marlin Club on May 8th & 9th. The video is also from this show, but which night of the show it comes from is not known. The video is on a rare 1-inch EV tape format and has been digitized.