Thursday, May 2, 2013

New Exhibits on Campus Literary Societies

In the second year of its existence, the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) created two campus literary societies that were intended to provide a social and communal atmosphere for students. All students were inducted into either the Adelphian or Cornelian Literary Society; no one was excluded. These groups hosted many of the events on campus, including plays, debates, socials, and dances. Two additional literary societies were founded as the school grew -- the Dikean Literary Society in 1918 and the Aletheian Literary Society in 1923. These organization served as key sources of entertainment and extracurricular learning from 1893 until they were disbanded in 1953.

Adelphian Society performance of "The Rivals," 1913
To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the founding of these Societies, Kristen Thomas has created both a physical and online exhibit to highlight the activities and development of these groups. Kristen, a senior History major, interned with SCUA during the Spring 2013 semester. During her internship, she conducted research in University Archives and Manuscripts collections, wrote exhibit text, fabricated exhibit materials, and selected and scanned images for online display.

Presidents and InterSociety Representatives
from the four campus literary societies, 1937
The physical exhibit is housed next to the reference desk on the main level of Jackson Library, and will run through the end of June. It features photographs, publications, and ephemera  documenting the 60 years history of the literary societies.

The online exhibit can be accessed at

Additionally, on May 27th, the Spartan Stories blog will feature a guest post from Kristen with additional information on the literary societies.

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