Since 1983, we have led the effort to rescue and preserve nearly 7,500 artifacts of U.S. sports heritage. Beginning with rugby history, our collection soon expanded to include the origin of college sports, including women's and indigenous contributions to that history.
The mission of the National Sports Heritage Collection is to uplift the origins, history and societal impact of American Rugby, and the origins of college sports history in the United States. In doing so, we also have prioritized supporting the reclamation of the many contributions of women and Indigenous peoples in this history. At NSHC, we believe that the knowledge and sharing of traditions, documents and stories, will empower future generations of community service-minded athletes, students and adults throughout the nation.
The NSHC is home to rare 19th and early 20th century artifacts, books, photos, documents, postcards, art and newspapers that focus on American rugby, college sports, and contributions made by women and indigenous people throughout the nation.
The majority of the collection dates within 1850-1925, with some items pre and post-dating that period.
Because history is often the best teacher, our goals emulate those of Dr. Thomas Arnold, Headmaster at Rugby School, a day and boarding co-educational independent school in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.
Promote courage, honor, and respect in our nonprofit’s membership, which is the ethos of rugby
Support the improvement of education to build a stronger middle class
Develop leaders and volunteers, who have a commitment to community service
WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED
- Over an 8-year period we conducted research through site visits at leading rugby museums, art museums, cultural museums, sports museums throughout the nation and the world
- This has lead to building long-term relationships, knowledge sharing and partnerships with places like the New Zealand Rugby Museum, the World Rugby Museum, and the Wisconsin State Historical Society
- We continue to discover, salvage, catalog and preserve important artifacts that are in danger of permanent erasure, due to a lack of knowledge and the realities of time and decay
- This includes uplifting and supporting the reclamation of stories, contributions and accomplishments of voices previously ignored in history, and intentionally making our collection cultural and gender-inclusive
Helping others in need and exercising positive risk-taking
Try to tell the truth, while also following through on your commitments
Seeking equity and justice for all people, living things and the environment