University of Tennessee Literary Societies Records
This collection houses minute books, account books, correspondence, and official publications documenting the Chi Delta Literary Society, the McKinney Club, and the Philomathesian Literary Club at the University of Tennessee.
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Conditions Governing Use
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3 Linear Feet
This collection houses minute books, account books, correspondence, and official publications documenting the Chi Delta Literary Society, the McKinney Club, and the Philomathesian Literary Society at the University of Tennessee.
The first literary society at the University of Tennessee was founded in 1826. It was originally called the Republican Dialectic Society but changed its name to the Dialectic Adelphic Society in 1835 and again to the Chi Delta Literary Society in 1836. An opposition party, the Philomathesian Literary Club, quickly formed. These societies were the College's main social centers prior to the Civil War. Students gave original orations at their weekly meetings, which focused on political, historical, social, and economic topics. After the Civil War, both societies published journals of essays, poetry, and university news.
In the 1890s, the establishment of a Law Department led to the creation of a law debating society called the McKinney Club. After women were admitted to the University in 1892, a number of such female literary societies as the Barbara Blount Literary Society formed. Over the next twenty years, these societies declined as other student clubs and administrative agencies took their place.
Collection consists of three boxes divided into three series:
- Series I: Chi Delta Literary Society, 1856-1930
- Series II: Series II: Philomathesian Literary Society, 1883-1914
- Series III: Series III: The McKinney Club, 1897 November 8-1903 May 4
This collection was transferred from the Library's cataloged holdings.