Union Literary Society Records

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Michigan State University. Union Literary Society. -- Form subdivision--Archives.;
Union Literary Society records
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Cubic feet , 5 folders

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing,Michigan".

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Historical Note

The Union Literary Society was established at Michigan Agricultural College on March 31, 1876, the first literary society on campus. The purpose of the society was the literary, moral, and social enlightenment of its members. The first meeting was held on April 8, 1876 in No. 7 Williams Hall. At the first meeting the constitution was drawn up and signed. Subsequent meetings were held in the English classroom in College Hall and later in Wells Hall.

At first, the existence of the society was kept secret, but eventually word got out, drawing jeers from members of fraternities. In 1877, the Union Literary Society procured a charter and was given rooms in the basement of Wells Hall to use for meetings. In 1891, with the assistance of alumni, a building was erected in order for the society to hold literary and social meetings. The building was purchased by the college in 1925 and the society moved to a new location on Albert Avenue and later to Valley Court.

The society prospered until the mid-1930s when it seemed to disappear from campus.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains programs for anniversary events and commencement festivities; register of members; and a few pieces of correspondence. Also included are remnants of a scrapbook, which include drawings, articles and a flyer for a picnic at Evergreen Park held by the Farmers of Hesperus Township in 1899.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections March 2004

Revision Description

  August 2008

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan State University. -- General subdivision--Students;


  • Literature -- Societies, etc.

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Collection Inventory

Drawer Folder

Anniversary Programs 1889-1895 

F.D. 1

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Commencement Festivities Programs 1897-1899 

F.D. 2

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Scrapbook Remnants 1896-1899 

F.D. 3

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Correspondence 1909, 1926-1927 

F.D. 4

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Register 1893 

F.D. 5

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#706: (Ye) U. Lit. Speculum 

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