Inventory of the EUA050 Literary Societies Collection, 1890 - 1942 EUA050

Inventory of the EUA050 Literary Societies Collection, 1890 - 1942

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.
Elon University

© 2012 Elon University. All Rights Reserved.

Contact Information:

Belk Library Archives and Special Collections
Elon University
2550 Campus Box
Elon, North Carolina

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Elon University. Belk Library Archives and Special Collections
Creator: Elon University
Title: EUA050 Literary Societies Collection, 1890 - 1942
Language of Material: Material in English
Location: 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.
Abstract: 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.
Extent: 0.5 linear feet, 1 archival box

Back to Top

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Back to Top

Copyright Notice

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.

Back to Top

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], EUA050 Literary Societies Collection, Belk Library Archives and Special Collections, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA.

Back to Top

Gift or Purchase Note

Unknown. Materials collected and assembled over many years to form collection.

Back to Top

Accession Information

Not applicable

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by Rachel Stas, January, 2012

Encoded by Katie Nash, February, 2012

Back to Top

Back to Top

Historical Note

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.

The Elon yearbook's title, PhiPsiCli, is named in remembrance of the founding literary societies, Philologian, Psiphelian, and Clio. In 1907 the idea was suggested to name the yearbook, Cli-Psi-Phi. No action was taken to create the yearbook until 1912 when the name was changed to PhiPsiCli and the first issue was published in 1913.

Back to Top


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.

Back to Top

Online Catalog Headings

These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

Literature -- Societies, etc.
Elon College -- Literary collections.
Elon College. Psiphelian Society.
Elon College. Clio Society.
Elon College. Philologian Society.
Elon College. Appollo Society.
Elon College. Thalia Society.
Elon College. Panvio Society.
Elon College. Lloyd E. Whitley Society.
Elon College. Dr. Samuel Johnson's Society.
Elon College. Psychaleon Society.
Elon College. Psykaleon Society.
Elon University -- Archival resources.

Back to Top

Related Material

Please consult with the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for additional information about related materials to this collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1.
37 Folders.
Clio Society. Undated. Historical Sketch.
Clio Society. 1890-1891. Member List.
Clio Society. 1901. Invitation.
Clio Society. 1903. Certificate of Incorporation.
Clio Society. 1915. Invitation.
Clio Society. 1917. Correspondence.
Clio Society. 1917. Invitation.
Clio Society. 1922. Menu.
Clio Society. 1922. Program.
Dr. Johnson's and Panvio Societies. 1942. Invitation.
Dr. Johnson's and Panvio Societies. 1942. Program.
Philologian Society. Undated. General Information.
Philologian Society. 1890-1891. Member List.
Philologian Society. 1899. Article of Incorporation.
Philologian Society. 1902. Invitation.
Philologian Society. 1904. Invitation.
Philologian Society. 1921. Invitation.
Philologian Society. 1921. Menu.
Philologian Society. 1922. Menu.
Philologian Society. 1923. Menu.
Philologian Society. 1925. Program.
Psiphelian Society. Undated. Correspondence.
Psiphelian Society. Undated. Meeting Notes.
Psiphelian Society. Undated. Program.
Psiphelian Society. 1890-1891. Member List.
Psiphelian Society. 1890-1894. Meeting Minutes.
Psiphelian Society. 1911. Program.
Psiphelian Society. 1920. Invitation.
Psiphelian Society. 1921. Photograph (reprint).
Psiphelian Society. 1924-1924. Meeting Minutes.
Psiphelian Society. 1924-1931. Meeting Minutes.
Psiphelian Society. 1925. Correspondence.
Psiphelian Society. 1926. Meeting Minutes.
Psiphelian Society. 1927-1928. Meeting Minutes.
Psiphelian Society. 1928. Correspondence.
Psiphelian Society. 1928. Meeting Minutes.
Thalia and Apollo Societies. 1921. Invitation.
Thalia and Apollo Societies. 1921. Program.