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Chautauqua Circle collection

 Collection — Box: 1-11
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0030

Scope and contents

The Chautauqua Circle collection spans the years between 1913 and 2010. The bulk of the collection dates from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The collection includes materials related to the anniversary celebrations, committees, events and meetings. It also contains correspondence, directories, financial records, member and speaker information, and year books. There are also folders relating to the subjects they research and general information about the Circle itself.


  • Creation: 1913-2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-1995


Rights statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright and/or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Historical note

The Chautauqua Circle was formed by Mrs. Henrietta Curtis Porter in 1913. The organization was based on the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle which began in 1854 in Chautauqua, New York. The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle was a four year program that was meant to provide "mental improvement and culture."

In 1912, Mrs. Porter formed an exploratory committee of five women. By 1913, a permanent organization was created. The members of the organization would report back once a month with notes on their studies. The reports included topics such as political ideologies and issues, civil rights, international relations, economics, art, literature, science, religious philosophies, current social issues, race relations, and topics of special interests to women. Special events included themed parties, which were originally organized with the husbands of members in mind, as well as musical and dramatic performances, which often involved children.


4 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into several series. Most of the series are single folders. The series that have multiple folders include anniversary celebrations, committees, correspondence, directories, events, financial records, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, members, speakers, and year books, photographs and scrapbooks. The series are arranged in alphabetical order, with the exception of newsclippings, photographs and scrapbooks which are housed separately at the end of the collection.


Chautauqua Circle collection, 1913-2010
Finding aid prepared by Karen L. Jefferson 1999 March.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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