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Student Organizations

Identifier: CA12.02

Scope and Content Note

Contains records pertaining to the activities of various student organizations at Bates College. The collections within this sub-group are limited in size, and are shown in the finding aid below. Larger collections have been given their own sub-group each, to aid in arrangement. Those organizations include the Outing Club, the Debate Council, and the Modern Dance Company. Likewise, student publications are described in a separate sub-group (CA 12.03), with a link provided in the Related Material section below.


  • 1857-[ongoing]

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

The earliest student organizations at Bates were the Polymnia and Eurosophia literary societies, formed shortly after the founding of the school. Founded "for improvement in writing and speaking," these two groups were joined by a third similar society, Piaeria, before the end of the century. Gradually these societies became more like social clubs, featuring music and other entertainments. By the early 20th century, interest in these clubs was waning, resulting in their disbanding in 1914.

A variety of other clubs had risen to take their place, however. Clubs were formed around a number of student interests, such as music, languages, sports, and numerous honorary academic societies. By the 1930s there existed over two dozen clubs, societies, groups, and other organizations, including some that continue to this day: Outing Club, Quimby Debate Council, Robinson Players, and the Lawrance Chemical Society.

Clubs and organizations continue to play an important role in the life of Bates students, as evidenced by the more than 50 such groups in existence today.


14.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains records pertaining to the activities of various student organizations at Bates College. These organizations include clubs for social activities, politics, athletics, religion, student governance, and curricular activities. Prominent groups represented in this collection include the Athletic Association, the Campus Association, the Robinson Players, and the Student Government.

Organization and Arrangement

The files are arranged into series alphabetically by organization name, excepting the "single-folder organizations" records at the beginning of the collection. These "single-folder" boxes contain organizations for which only single or a few items exist. In all cases, records for individual organizations should not be considered complete, and there are many organizations for which no archived records exist.

Guide to the Student Organizations, 1857-[ongoing]
Edited Full Draft
Pat Webber, Meagan Doyle, Jake McChesney, Becky Wason
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America