Washington Literary Society records, 1859-1895

337

Collection Overview

Title:
Washington Literary Society records
Dates (Inclusive):
1859-1895
Creator:
Washington Literary Society (State College, Pa.)
Abstract:
The Washington Literary Society was formed at Pennsylvania State University (then Farmer's High School) in 1859 and dissolved in 1895. The collection contains the society's governing documents, minutes, membership lists, correspondence, financial records, program information, and library records dating from 1859-1895.
Collection Number:
337
Size:
2.4 Linear Feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the  library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Historical Note

The Washington Literary Society (originally named Washington Agricultural Literary Society) was founded on March 4, 1859, shortly after the formation of the Farmer's High School (now Pennsylvania State University). The society was formed in conjunction with the Cresson Literary Society.

The society received active support from the college, including the granting of a meeting and library room, and a financial donation from the trustees procure books for its library. The members of the Society engaged in debates, essay and declamation writing, and orations. By the 1890s social fraternities, engineering societies, athletic groups, music, and drama clubs eroded society membership and it dissolved in June 1895.

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Collection Overview

The Washington Literary Society records document the organization's history and span the entirety of the society's existence, dating from 1859-1895. The collection inlcudes governing documents, meeting minutes, membership lists, correspondence, programs, financial records, library records, and student writings.

Of potential interest are letters from President James Buchanan and future President Abraham Lincoln, accepting honorary membership into the society. Also of interest are The Anonymous leaflets, which offer critical essay of the literary society by some members, as well as humorous gossip.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Washington Literary Society Records, PSUA 337, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Washington Literary Society (State College, Pa.)

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Collection Inventory

Click associated checkboxes to select items to request. When you have finished, click the Submit Request button.

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Separated Material

Signed letters from Abraham Lincoln (1860) and James Buchanan (1859) have been separated from this folder and placed in the Special Collections vault.

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