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Lanier Literary Society Records

Identifier: UA 0026

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of two record books, a volume of bound posters, and ephemera created by the Lanier Literary Society, from 1911-1931. The 1912-1931 record book contains several iterations of the society's constitution as well as quarterly membership lists. The 1920-1931 record book contains meeting minutes. The volume of bound posters contains hand-drawn posters advertising Lanier Literary Society events. The collection also includes a 1935 New York Times Book Review article about the poet, Sidney Lanier, and a 1913 hand-made program for a Lanier Society event, including the text of the Lanier Song.


  • 1911-1931


Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of James Madison University is retained by James Madison University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information, contact the Special Collections Reference Desk (

Administrative History

The Lanier Literary Society and Lee Literary Society were established at State Normal and Industrial School for Women in 1909, during the school’s first term. The Lanier Society was named for the Southern poet, Sidney Lanier, and the Lee Literary Society was named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Both the Lee and Lanier Society held debates, and sponsored readings, talks and musical events.

The Lanier chose violet and white as the club’s representative colors, while the Lee Society chose gold and gray. In October, 1909, the school’s official colors were taken from each – violet from Lanier, and gold from Lee.

In 1914, ten members from the Lee and Lanier Literary Societies joined together to form a new student organization, the Stratford Literary Society, later known as the Stratford Players. The Lanier Society and Lee Society were discontinued in 1942.


0.33 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of two record books, bound posters, and ephemera created by members of the Lanier Literary Society, from 1911-1931.


Documents are arranged by material type.

Acquisition Information

Items were in the cage in 1982, at the time of founding.

Other Formats Available

Select Lanier Literary Society posters have been digitized and can be found at Founding Documents in Special Collections.

Related Materials

Lee Literary Society Records, 1909-1912, UA 0027, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.


  • Dingledine, Raymond C. Madison College, the First Fifty Years, 1908-1958. Harrisonburg, VA: Madison College, 1959.

Processing Information

The collection was formed from the merger of items in SU 93-0331, Students: Memorabilia and General, and Lanier Society posters in SU 93-0315, Scrapbooks 1909-1916.

A Guide to the Lanier Literary Society Records, 1911-1931
Sarah Roth-Mullet
January 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

880 Madison Drive
MSC 1704
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612