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Centre College Literary Societies

Collection Outline

The literary societies at Centre College began with the formation in 1828 of the Chamberlain Philosophical and Literary Society. The Deinologian Society and Athenaean Society followed. Those societies on which information is available include the Agore Adelphon Literary Society (of which very little is known) and the three listed above. The societies were formed to promote literary excellency, and at each meeting members debated a given argument, finally reaching a decision on what the correct answer was. Addresses were also given before the societies, and on celebrations such as Washington's birthday, many addresses were given. Discipline in the societies was strict. Very small offenses could lead to fines being placed on the responsible members.

Very little information could be gathered on the Agore Adelphon Literary Society. It was established, according to the one volume available on the society, around December 1855. The organization changed its name early in 1857 from Agore Adelphon to [Greek letters] (Philo Logoi Society). It was apparently not particularly strong.

The Chamberlain Philosophical and Literary Society of Centre College was founded in 1828 and named in honor of the College's first President, Rev. Jeremiah Chamberlain. The Society included such prominent names as Hon. Jas. B. McCreary, J.C.S. Blackburn, Boyd Winchester, and others. It was extremely active in annual celebrations and oratorical contests, and annual exercises were held for graduating seniors. The Society apparently died out around 1927, but then was revived around 1939 for only two years.

The Deinologian Literary Society was founded in 1835 by students who were dismayed with the Chamberlain Society. The Society included such figures as John C. Breckinridge (U.S. Vice-President), John Young Brown, and Thomas Crittenden. This Society was also very involved in annual celebrations and exercises for graduating members, and continued in existence until about 1940.

The Athenaean Literary Society was an offshoot of the Deinologian Society. Little information is available, but apparently it did participate in annual celebrations.

Collection Inventory

CC-30.1 Literary Societies - General

Folder 1Programs for celebrations of the literary societies; oratorical contest programs, 1864-1926
Folder 2Includes invitations from 1887 and 1889; a proposal to publish "The Collegian"; an address delivered before the societies; Morelock, K. "A preliminary history of the literary magazine at Centre College"
Folder 3Rice, Nathan L. Address by Rev. Nathan L. Rice, Delivered before the Chamberlain and Deinologian Societies, 1845; Humphrey, Edward P. An Address Delivered Before the Literary Societies, 1850; Wing, E. Ramsey, Address [Chamberlain Literary Society], 1864.

CC-31.2 Agore Adelphone Literary Society

Volume 1Constitution and minutes, 1855-1857
Folder 1Diploma of Adelphon Club to member

CC-31.3 Athenaean Literary Society
Series A Minutes

Volume 1Minutes, Sept. 30, 1853-June 27, 1856
Volume 2Minutes, July 11, 1856-Nov. 1, 1861

CC-31.3 Athenaean Literary Society
Series B Constitution and By-Laws

Volume 1Constitution and by-laws

CC-31.3 Athenaean Literary Society
Series C Miscellaneous

Folder 1"Effects of Change" - an anniversary oration in behalf of the Athenaean Literary Society, Feb. 22, 1858

CC-31.4 Chamberlain Literary Society
Series A Minutes

Volume 1Minutes, July 2, 1843-May 22, 1846
Volume 2Minutes, April 20, 1849-May 19, 1854
Volume 3Minutes, Sept. 8, 1854-Sept. 23, 1864
Volume 4Minutes, Sept. 30, 1864-June 7, 1870
Volume 5Minutes, March 11, 1871-Feb. 12, 1875
Volume 5BMinutes, March 1, 1875-March 15, 1883
Volume 6Minutes, Sept. 7, 1883-Sept. 29, 1893
Volume 7Minutes, Oct. 6, 1893-Sept. 20, 1901
Volume 8Minutes, Sept. 27, 1901-Dec. 13, 1907
Volume 9Minutes, Jan. 3, 1908-Jan. 5, 1915
Volume 10Minutes (including some accounting records), Feb. 1915-May 27, 1919
Volume 11Minutes, Sept. 16, 1919-May 29, 1923

CC-31.4 Chamberlain Literary Society
Series B Constitution, Charter, By-Laws

Folder 1Constitution; "An act to incorporate the Chamberlain P. & L. Society of Centre College"
Volume 1Constitution and by-law

CC-31.4 Chamberlain Literary Society
Series C Programs

Folder 1Programs for annual exercises and banquet of the Society, June 18, 1877; June 14, 1880; May 19, 1904. Also programs for meetings, Jan. 22, 1924; April 1, 1924

CC-31.4 Chamberlain Literary Society
Series D Miscellaneous

Folder 1Various miscellaneous papers which belonged to Chamberlain Society, including addresses
Volume 1Rough draft of minutes, July 10, 1857-Aug. 20, 1858
Volume 2Censor's book, 1857-1859
Volume 3Censor's book, Sept. 8, 1871-May 1873
Volume 4Censor's book, 1919-1923
Volume 5Library records, Feb. 21, 1881-1902

CC-31.4 Chamberlain Literary Society
Series E Accounting Records

Volume 1Accounting records, 1872-1890
Volume 2Accounting records, 1880
Volume 3Accounting records, Oct. 19, 1883-Sept. 11, 1896

CC-31.5 Deinologian Literary Society
Series A Minutes

Volume 1Minutes, Nov. 27, 1835-Feb. 16, 1838
Volume 2Minutes, Nov. 16, 1838-Feb. 26, 1841
Volume 3Minutes, March 3, 1843-May 24, 1844
Volume 4Minutes, June 14, 1844-March 22, 1845
Volume 5Minutes, May 10, 1845-June 18, 1847
Volume 6Minutes, Nov. 18, 1853-June 13, 1862
Volume 7Minutes, Sept. 18, 1863-Oct. 2, 1863
Volume 8Minutes, Oct. 23, 1863-May 23, 1873
Volume 9Minutes, Jan. 21, 1875-April 28, 1876
Volume 10Minutes, Nov. 24, 1876-April 1, 1879
Volume 11Minutes, Nov. 2, 1882-April 9, 1886
Volume 12Minutes, Nov. 8, 1895-May 25, 1900
Volume 13Minutes, Sept. 14, 1900-Oct. 18, 1907
Volume 14Minutes, Nov. 8, 1907-Dec. 7, 1909
Volume 15Minutes, Jan. 11, 1910-Jan. 16, 1912
Volume 16Minutes, Jan. 23, 1912-Jan. 20, 1914
Volume 17Minutes, Feb. 3, 1914-Feb. 25, 1919
Volume 18Minutes, March 18, 1919-March 16, 1926

CC-31.5 Deinologian Literary Society
Series B Constitution and By-Laws

Folder 1Three pamphlets by revision committee 1892, 1896, 1907
Volume 1Constitution and by-laws of the Society; rough drafts of minutes March 31, 1865-Feb. 23, 1866

CC-31.5 Deinologian Literary Society
Series C Addresses

Folder 1Two copies of address by Rev. Samuel D. Burchard; one copy of oration "He lives who acts"; two copies of address by W. G. Dunlap "First"

CC-31.5 Deinologian Literary Society
Series D Miscellaneous

Folder 1Invitations; programs; partial treasury record 1930-1931

CC-31.5 Deinologian Literary Society
Series E Treasurer's and Roll Books

Volume 1Treasury book, undated
Volume 2Treasury book, 1847-1849
Volume 3Treasury book, 1851-1854
Volume 4Treasury, roll book, 1901-1909
Volume 5Roll book, 1909-1918
Volume 6Treasury book, 1930-1931