Union Literary Society Records

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Michigan Agricultural College. Union Literary Society.
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 (now Michigan State University) 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 then later to Valley Court.

The Union Literary Society and the AeTheons were initiated into Delta Chi Fraternity in 1935. (Michigan State News, January 8, 1935)

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Scope and Content

This collection contains programs for anniversary events and commencement festivities, a 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

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

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 Agricultural College. Students. Societies, etc..
  • Michigan Agricultural College. Union Literary Society.
  • Michigan State College. Union Literary Society.


  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Programs (Publications)


  • College students -- Michigan -- East Lansing
  • College students -- Societies and clubs
  • Literature -- Societies, etc.

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Collection Inventory

Drawer Folder

Anniversary Programs 1889-1895 

F.D. 1

Commencement Festivities Programs 1897-1899 

F.D. 2

Scrapbook Remnants 1896-1899 

Archivist's Note

The originals were placed in the Irma Thompson papers (UA 10.3.35) as she is the creator. The pages do not appear to relate to ULS. It is likely they were originally part of Irma Thompson's scrapbook, but were accidentally separated. M. Malone, April 2013

F.D. 3

Correspondence 1909, 1926-1927 

F.D. 4

Register 1893 

F.D. 5


#706: (Ye) U. Lit. Speculum 

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