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Booklover's Club Collection

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  Book clubs are an important part of the history of Davidson, NC. Beginning with the founding of the Booklover's in 1899, dozens of clubs have been part of the town's social fabric. The Davidson College Archives holds numerous collections of local club records, with the largest collection being the Booklover's Club.


Programs and Minutes


  • Digitized minutes with transcripts (1901-1907, 1924-1935)
  • Digitized program booklets with links to online versions of books (1901-1941)


"The Woman's Book Club of Davidson held its first meeting January 20th, at four o'clock, at the home of Mrs. Dr. Martin. Eight congenial spirits were present, and the discussion of some of the newest books of the season rose to a high pitch of interest. The Magazine warns the learned Ph.D's. to be on their guard and look to their colors, since the women in their midst intend to be intellectual! As to the Boys!-they simply are not in it." - The Davidson College Magazine. January, 1899.
  Davidson has every reason to be proud of a club which easily rivals those of a ciity [sic] in aggressiveness and effective work." The Davidson College Magazine. December, 1899.
  By the early 1890s, the women's study movement had reached Davidson. The first documented group was the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, but others followed, including The Booklover's Club.
  In 1899, Jennie Martin, wife of the Davidson College president, William J. Martin, Jr., organized the Woman's Book Club of Davidson, the first of many book clubs in the town. In fact, members of this group helped organize two other book discussion groups, the Thursday Club in 1909 and the Thelemites in 1921.
  In 1911 the Woman's Book Club of Davidson changed its name to The Booklover's Club, a name it has continuously borne into the twenty-first century.
Since the club's founding over a century ago, there have been many changes. The club is no longer made up primarily of faculty wives; instead, many of the women are faculty or professionals themselves. The club now also brings together different generations of Davidson women.
  Still, the name is not the only tradition honored by The Booklover's Club. The club still has regular monthly meetings, yearly themes, and few outside speakers (instead, members are expected to research and present materials and ideas).
  A tradition handed from one generation of women to the next, The Booklover's Club of Davidson, NC is one of the town's brightest legacies.
  "Davidson is a place where powerful women get together and discuss bloody poetry."
-Visiting Tai poet.
  Barnhill, Ann C. Barnhill. "Culture Clubs." Our State. November 2000: 89
Haag, Diane. "Booklover's Club is Still Vibrant at Century Mark." April 25, 1999.
Martin, Theodora Penny. The Sound of Our Own Voices: Women's Study Clubs 1860-1910. Boston: Beacon Press, 1987, p 1.
The Davidson College Magazine. January, 1899.
The Davidson College Magazine. December, 1899.

For more information on the Booklover's Collection and other Davidson College Archive book club collections

  Finding Aid for Booklover's Collection - DC039s
  Finding Aids for Book Club Collections

For Further Reading and Research on Book Clubs

  Research Works on Book Clubs
  Other Archives with Book Club Collections