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Hinman Literary Society (1857-1915) Minute Books and Librarian's Record

Identifier: 31/6/8

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

These records are comprised of three volumes: two containing the minutes of the Hinman Literary Society and one recording the volumes and charge-out particulars of the Society's library. The library had been the personal collection of University President Clark Titus Hinman, for whom the society was named. The minutes are for meetings from September 1857 to January 1868, and from September 1869 to May 1882. The librarian's records span the years 1864 to 1868.

The minutes record the activities and organization of the Society's meetings. A typical meeting opened with a musical offering and prayer, followed by one or several readings, declamations, and orations. A regular debate (with two or three appointed debaters on each side and appointed judges) was the central event, followed by an irregular debate (open to the floor) decided by majority vote. Business meetings, when held, followed the literary program. The first volume includes the roll calls from 1857 to 1868 on the last few pages, while the second volume does not record the roll.


  • 1857-1882


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


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Language of Materials



Founded in 1855, Hinman Society was the first literary society at Northwestern University. These records consist of 2 volumes of minutes and 1 volume documenting the Society's library.

Method of Acquisition

These records were transferred to the University Archives sometime prior to June 1, 1974, and accessioned as #74-128 and #74-129.

Related Materials

Adelphic Literary Society Minute Book, 1877-1893 (Series 31/6/9).

Philomathia Society Minute Books, 1868-1893, 1904-1917 (Series 38/4).

Rogers Debating Society Minute Book, 1904-1913 (Series 31/6/10).

Processing Information

Andrew Leslie; July 1980.

Guide to the Hinman Literary Society (1857-1915) Minute Books and Librarian's Record
Andrew Leslie
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US