Monday Club of North Adams Collection


Prepared by Dawn Morin
September 2008

VOLUME: One (1) Linear Foot in One Document Box
DATES: 1876-1995
ACQUISITION: Monday Club of North Adams
ACCESS: Access to these materials by appointment.

COPYRIGHT: Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Special Collections Librarian.

Historical Notes
Materials Description
Box and File Listings


The Monday Club of North Adams donated their club archives through 1995 in the late 1990s. The collection contains Club record books, treasurer’s book, correspondence (including misc. club info on events and members), calendar programs, and copies of play books. As the Club is still active, this is an open collection.


The Monday Club of North Adams was originally organized on February 6, 1876 as the Ladies Reading Circle. It was organized as a reading circle for literary improvement of women, including “providing intellectual and enlightening programs with a warm-hearted fellowship added for good measure.” Mrs. Griswold was elected as the first club president. Originally, eight young women met each Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 in the evening to improve their minds. The first hour was spent studying. After a recess, the news of the week was presented and then the last half hour was spent in discussion. Before the end of the first year, several new members were accepted, however, the membership was limited to twenty-five. That the young ladies were interested in something outside their home was evinced by the enthusiasm with which they chose and pursued the subjects for the lessons. Topics ranged over a wide are including the arts, painting, music, sculpture, world religions, and American colonization. Special authors and their works were widely read and presented as well as reading of all Shakespeare’s plays. The name was changed on January 19, 1885 to the Monday Club and meetings were scheduled for twice a month on a Monday instead of every week on a Wednesday. They became a state federated club in 1895 and continued until 1909 when this was dropped. Up until 1893 (the first thirteen years) there were no printed calendars and it wasn’t until 1901 that the membership list was included.

By 1901, the group’s interests were expanded to include outside speakers into the programs, relying on Williams College, the Normal School and other sources to provide interesting and intellectual subjects. Musical programs by outstanding artists were also included. A Social Service Committee was also added to the changes.

Some of the members included the names of: Anderson, Blackinton, Bracewell, Browne, Cady, Chase, Clark, Cutting, Gadsby, Gallup, Gleason, Guss, Hunter, McMillian, Murdock, Temple, Tyler, Watson and Williams. All members were of a “mature age – 50 or so.”


The collection contains the record archives of the Monday Club (originally the Ladies Reading Circle and include calendar programs from 1940 to 1995. There are thirteen club record books spanning the years 1876 to 1971. There is one Treasurer’s Book dated 1913 to 1952. There are three folders that include correspondence, written papers, obituaries on members, records of gifts of books given by the club, by-laws and information on their centennial celebration in 1976.


1 Club Record Book from 1876 to 1888 containing the original by-laws and organizational information for the Ladies Reading Circle including meeting notes and minutes.

12 Club Record Books from: 1898 – 1901, 1901 – 1905, 1906 – 1908, 1909 – 1912, 1912 – 1916, 1916 – 1922, 1923 – 1932, 1932 – 1937, 1937 – 1944, 1944 – 1955, 1955 – 1961, 1962 – 1971

1 Treasurer’s Book from: 1913 – 1952

1 Folder containing correspondence, written papers, news clippings and obituaries.

1 Folder containing information on books of gift given by the Club.

1 Folder of Club By-Laws

1 Folder – Centennial Report, Luncheon and Program information (April 26, 1976).

Calendar Programs for the years 1940 – 1995.

14 copies: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Arranged for Amateur Performance in Girl’s Schools by Elsie Fogerty, printed in 1923.

13 copies: The Merry Wives of Windsor, by Shakespeare, Acting Editions of Famous Plays; Walter H. Baker Co., Publisher, 1935.

6 copies: A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Acting Editions of Famous Plays; Walter H. Baker Co., Publisher.

1 Book: A Doll’s House: A Play by Henrik Ibsen; New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1902.