Records of Greenville, NC book club (1937-2018), including minutes, correspondence, newsletter clippings, constitution and by-laws, treasurer books, yearbooks, and eight scrapbooks.
The Chatham Book Club was born on 16 April 1937 in Greenville, North Carolina. The founders - 13 young Greenville matrons -- met in the home of their sponsor, Mrs. J. B. Kittrell. Their stated aim was to promote the "Civil, social and intellectual improvement" of the members. The Chatham Book Club joined a number of already existing books clubs including the End of the Century Book Club and the Sans Souci Book Club.
The founders then elected Mrs. N. S. Beard as their first president. In addition, they elected a vice president, treasurer, secretary and librarian. In later years, the same person usually served as secretary and librarian. They also selected a Program Committee, Book Committee, and Emergency Committees. They also arranged a list of hostesses -- members who volunteered to have meetings in their homes and to provide refreshments. The Club met between once and three times per month usually from early October to late May.
They selected the Chatham Book Club name to honor William Pitt the elder, the first Earl of Chatham (15 November 1708 - 11 May 1778), the British Whig statesman who achieved his greatest fame leading Britain during the French and Indian War, 1755-1766. He later served as prime minister of from 30 July 1766 to 14 October 1768. Pitt County, North Carolina, like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is named for him. Chatham's second son, William Pitt the younger (28 May 1759 - 23 January 1806) also became a political leader of note becoming the youngest prime minister in British history and leading the nation during the Napoleonic Wars, 19 December 1783 - 14 March 1801and 10 May 1804 - 23 January 1806.
The members also selected a club motto: "While We Live Let Us Live to Some Purpose."
The 13 original members were Mrs. C. L. Adams, Mrs. N. S. Beard, Mrs. F. A. Bendall, Mrs. H. G. Clayton, Mrs. J. C. Lanier, Mrs. E. Lee Moore, Mrs. R. S. Neal, Mrs. E. D. Robinson, Mrs. A. C. Ruffin, Mrs. R. W. Stark, Mrs. W. S. Tyson, and Mrs. W. D. Tucker. Source: #409.3.a.
The collection consists of minutes of club meetings, including lists of members, officers, committee members & hostesses, books read, officers reports, elections & accounts of discussions.
In addition, the collection contains three scrapbooks, 1937-1985, containing club correspondence, constitutions & by-laws, photographic prints, yearbooks, clippings, information about the Greenville Arts Festivals, the End of the Century Book Club, the Woman's Club of Greenville, Sheppard Memorial Library, and other Greenville literary, arts, & social organizations. The compiler glued or stapled these items into the scrapbooks. The repository has filed additional loose correspondence and other documents separately.
Among the notable items in the scrapbooks are:
List of Officers:
The Chatham Book Club Records, 1937-1985, undated, comprise the records of a Greenville, North Carolina women's club. The collections consists of 6 manuscript boxes amounting to 135 items and 3 scrapbooks, containing 1,706 pages and including approximately 2.20 cubic feet of manuscript materials. The collection includes correspondence, clippings, constitutions and by-laws, financial records, club histories, biographical sketches of members, photographic prints, printed materials, & scrapbooks relating to the members, activities, and organization of the Chatham Book Club. The club officers donated the collection to the repository in three separate loans between 29 April 1980 and 26 June 1987. The repository has maintained the collection in its original order, arranged in series by date of the loan.
Series I includes the minutes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, constitution and by-laws, and two scrapbooks & other records 1937-1977 (Gift of 28 April 1980)
Series II includes the minutes 1977-1983 (Gift of 12 March 1987)
Series III includes three scrapbooks, 1969-1985 (Gift of 26 June 1987)
March 27, 2020, (unprocessed addition 3), 2.5 cubic feet; This addition includes treasurer books (1988-2003, 2010-2014), yearbooks (1943-1944, 1952-2008; missing 1961-1962, 1967-1968, 1977-1978, 1990-1991, 1997-1998, 1999-2000), and 5 scrapbooks covering the years 1991 through 2018 documenting the activities of the Chatham Book Club of Greenville, North Carolina. Donor: Judy Perry.
Gift of Officers, Chatham Book Club
Loaned by Officers, Chatham Book Club
Gift of Judy Perry
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Preliminary inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 5/18/2010, additional inventory by Faith Harris, 2019
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.