Table Of Contents
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The Menands Book Club was formed by Mrs. Edward A. Kelly, Mrs. Frank Dunn, and Mrs. Claude C. Nuckols about 1908. It was originally known as The Literary Club of Menands, NY. Members held informal meetings at a different member home each week.
As the literary club grew, members decided to create a more formal structure in 1910, including having club officers. The first president was Miss Alice M. Darbe. Along with assigning officers, members wrote a constitution and by-laws. The purpose of the Club as stated was to enlighten and fulfill intellectual needs. Meetings were now held every two weeks and the Club charged membership dues of 5 cents per member per meeting for attendees and 10 cents for those absent. Programs were printed for members with the meeting dates and topics. Members were required to share a reading on their assigned topic. The Club also selected books to reflect an overall theme in some years, including current events, women, New York State history, islands, far away places and American people and life.
The organization continued to evolve over time. The name changed to the Menands Book Club for the 1923-1924 program year. In 1954 and 2007 members revised the constitution and by-laws. The Club currently has about a dozen members and meets from September through June. Its meetings still cover a variety of topics.
The collection predominantly consists of paper-handouts and mini-booklets. In addition, there are some newspaper clippings and both ledger and composition notebooks to record meetings. There are guidebooks to the village of Menands anniversary celebrations in the collection as well. Please note there are gaps in the collection record in the 1940s and then again in the 1960s and 1970s, with the meeting program guides.
Series one contains administrative records. In the records there are meeting minutes and treasury information. Correspondence pertaining to administration of the Club and membership directories are also in this section. Series two contains materials related to programs and events. Within this series is correspondence regarding the history of the Club, program guides and newsclippings. There also are items retained by Club members that relate to the history of Menands, but pre-date the The Literary Club.
These records were located in the homes of members and members' families and collected by the Menands Book Club several years prior to the donation of materials to the University at Albany.
The collection is organized into the following series:
Series 1 - Administration, 1908-2008, Undated
Series 2 - Programs and Events, 1881, 1898, 1910-2009, Undated
Both series are arranged alphabetically.
Access to this record group is unrestricted with the exception of one folder noted below.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Menands Book Club
Book clubs (Discussion groups)--New York (State)
Women--Societies and clubs.
Genres and Forms
Bylaws (administrative records)
Schedules (time plans)
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Menands Book Club Records, 1881-2009. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Menands Book Club Records).
The Menands Book Club donated the records to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives in 2011.
Finding Aid Information
Created by: Ashley Purvis