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Aelioian Literary Society

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BU-04-002-000

Scope and Contents

The Aelioian Literary Society is a student organization at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, existing from 1877-1918. The society existed during this time, but was most active from 1878-1910. The purpose of the society was to publish a newspaper of written works by the society's members. Within this collection are the record books from societal meetings, financial records, the newspapers they distributed, papers from society functions and banquets, papers concerning the activities of the society, photographs of the society's members, and objects concerning the society. The society largely focused on publishing essays and poems, which reflected the culture of the University at the time of publication. Some essays focused on how women are expected to behave around men, and others were completely ficticious. Although the society focused on the newspapers' publication, the society maintained an active membership, and frequently held banquets. The impact of the society's publications are unknown, but appears to be minimal.


  • Created: 1877-1918
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1887-1909


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Aelioian literary society, founded in 1877 by Miss M. M. Hammond, a Baker University professor, is a local chapter of an all-female literary society. The society existed for forty years, and at one point held enough members to warrant having a junior Aelioian society. Among the literary societies found at Baker University, there were four: Aelioian, Athenian, Clionian, and Biblical. Of the remaining three societies, the Aelioian society was most close with the Athenian society. Towards the end of 1918, the Athenian society proposed that the Aelioian society merge together, which signified the speculative end of the Aelioian society. Aside from meeting notes from February 23, 1918, no information is known about the societal merge. The focus of the Aelioian literary society was to publish copies of their newspaper, 'The Morning Dawn'. Prices for 'The Morning Dawn' vary depending on the semester and year of publication. Each copy of 'The Morning Dawn' is unique and handwritten. The contents of 'The Morning Dawn' typically contain: essays, short stories, editorials, poems, and local news notes. It is unknown how the society distributed their materials, or how successful the distribution was. However, several copies of 'The Morning Dawn' have been preserved within this collection. The literary society took extensive notes during societal meetings, and also kept a log concerning the society's monetary activity. At the end of each secretarial record book, a copy of the society's by-laws and constitution is included. It is unknown how students joined the society, but membership fees remained consistently at $.25. At the end of each spring term the Aelioian society held a variety show banquet, where members performed exerpts from plays and read poems. At the end of each fall term the Aelioian society celebrated the society's anniversary. The Aelioian society frequently collaborated with the Athenian society for banquets and dinners.

Note written by Anna M. Gordon


2.00 Cubic Feet

7 boxes

Language of Materials



The Aelioian literary society collection contains: secretarial record books, treasurer's records, one scrapbook, one yearbook for the Nebraska Wesleyan University, newspapers, documents, photographs, and objects.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in four series. The first series contains books related to the society, and is divided into two subseries: secretarial record books, and treasury books. The second series is comprised of documents, and is divided into six subseries: copies of 'The Morning Dawn', undated materials, Aelioian society annual entertainment/anniversary pamphlets, Aelioian society entertainment programs, Aelioian literary society constitution and by-laws, and dated miscellaneous documents. The third series consists of photographs, and series four are objects found within the original collection. Arrangement note: The collection is arranged in order of relevant information for the patron. The record books of the collection are arranged first to give the patron contextual information about the society and the decisions made within the society. Second, the documents of the collection show users the activities of the society, particularly those that are mentioned in the record books. The next series are photographs, which give users an additional glimpse into the society by show its members. Finally, the objects are arranged. The objects contained in the collection will not give users enough information about the society unless the previous series are explored. Within each series, items are arranged alphabetically. However, there are many items that do not have a date associated. For example, there are several copies of “The Morning Dawn” that do not have a date. Yet, there are some copies that have a volume number, which indicates chronological order. For items such as photographs, items are arranged as chronologically as possible based on non-textual clues (dress, hair, quality of materials, etc.).

Physical Access Requirements

Some pages in secretarial and treasurer books are torn and/or missing. Several books are damaged at the spine and need to be handled with care. One book has a large hole in the back cover, affecting the ending pages of the book.

Technical Access Requirements

No restrictions.

Related Materials

Athenian Literary Society (unprocessed collection).

Processing Information

No materials were weeded in the arranging of this collection. The "Morning Dawn" newspapers were originally bound together using ribbons, which needed to be carefully removed. Aside from this, all materials are presented as they were upon donation to the archives.

Anna M. Gordon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker University and Kansas United Methodist Archives Repository

518 8th Street
PO Box 65
Baldwin City KS 66006 US