Literary Societies Collection
This collection contains materials related to the literary societies that once existed at Elon College. Specifically, this collection has documents from the following literary societies: Clio, Philologian, Psiphelian, Appollo, Thalia, Dr. Samuel Johnson's, and Panvio. There were a few other literary societies that existed on campus during different time periods, but there are no materials of them in this collection. The collection dates range from 1890 to 1942. Some materials included in the collection are meeting minutes, member lists, invitations, programs, and correspondences. The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the literary society, and then chronologically within each society, and then alphabetically by type of material.
- 1890 - 1942
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
Biographical / Historical
The Clio, Philologian, and Psiphelian literary societies were the first literary societies that existed at Elon College, when the school was founded in 1889. There is record of their existence as early as 1891 with the Clio and Philologian literary society's for men and the Psiphelian for women. They were a major part of the social life of the college for 30 years before being disbanded in 1933. From 1891-1913, the societies met in the Old Main Administration building on Friday nights to debate and met on Saturday for general business. In 1913, the societies began meeting only on Monday evenings instead. As stated in early issues of the Bulletin of Elon College publication, their focus was, "literary training in general and in the study and cultivating of the art of speaking and writing." The Appollo (sometimes written as Apollo) men's literary society was founded in 1918 and lasted until 1923. The Thalia literary society for women was also established in 1918 and went through several name changes. In 1923 the name was changed to Psychaleon and in 1924 it was changed again to Psykaleon. 1934 was the last year the women's organization was in service. These two societies along with Clio, Philologian, and Psiphelian Societies also met in both the Old Main Administration building and West Dormitory on Monday evenings. During meetings they both debated and did general work. On January 9, 1935 Dr. Samuel Johnson's literary society for men replaced the former Clio society and lasted until 1949. The Bulletin of Elon College did not contain any information or record of the society's existence from 1938-1941. However, in the 1941-1942 Bulletin, the society was listed again as being in existence on campus. The goal of Dr. Samuel Johnson's society was "to combine literary work with debating and an analysis of current problems," according to the Bulletin of Elon College. In 1942, the Panvio literary society for women was established in addition to Dr. Johnson's. Both societies shared the goal of "providing the opportunity for the training and guidance in thinking speaking, and in parliamentary proceedings," as stated in the Bulletin. The Panvio lasted until 1950 and was the last recorded literary society at Elon College. One additional society was mentioned in the Bulletin of Elon College, the Lloyd E. Whitley literary society for men. The society was named in honor of former Elon student and fallen soldier of World War II, Lloyd Elom Whitley. There is record of his student status from 1938-1941. This society was in existence from 1948-1950 and set forth to accomplish the same goals as Dr. Johnson's literary society. Currently, there are no records of this society within the collection. One additional society was mentioned in the Bulletin of Elon College, the Lloyd E. Whitley literary society for men. The society was named in honor of former Elon student and fallen soldier of World War II, Lloyd Elom Whitley. There is record of his student status from 1938-1941. This society was in existence from 1948-1950 and set forth to accomplish the same goals as Dr. Johnson's literary society. Currently, there are no records of this society within the collection.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 archival box)
Language of Materials
The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the literary society, and then chronologically within each society, and then alphabetically by type of material.
The collection is located in the Carol Grotnes Belk Library Archives and Special Collections at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Unknown. Materials collected and assembled over many years to form collection.
Processed by Rachel Stas, January, 2012
- Elon College--Cultural programs.
- Elon College--History.
- Elon College--Muscial performances.
- Elon College--Students.
- Elon College. Clio Society.
- Elon College. Philologian Society.
- Elon College. Psiphelian Society.
- Elon University--Cultural programs.
- Elon University--History.
- Elon University--Musical performances.
- Elon University--Students.
- Student Societies, etc. Subject Source: Local sources
- Student activities. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Encoded by Katie Nash, February, 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script