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Debating Club Records

Identifier: UA 0031
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Debating Club Records is comprised of a record book and papers containing meeting minutes, membership lists, and attendance records that document club activities from its founding in 1928 until 1940. Meeting topics include the election of officers, debate topics, and logistical discussions about upcoming competitions.

Papers found interleaved in the record book include a copy of the Debating Club Constitution and By-Laws, meeting minutes, membership lists, and debate preparation materials.


  • Creation: 1928-1940

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 State Teachers College Debating Club formed in 1927 with 15 original members, with the goal to “train its members in the art of debate and oratory and foster intercollegiate debating and oratory.” Between 1927 and the early 1940s, members of the Debating Club competed against students from Bridgewater College, State Teachers College at Farmville, Randolph Macon Women’s College, Waynesboro College, King College, and Shepherdstown College, among other colleges. The club was discontinued by 1942, though other debate and forensics organizations formed in subsequent years.


0.12 cubic feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



The Debating Club Records is comprised of a record book and papers containing meeting minutes, membership lists, and attendance records, documenting club activities from its founding in 1928 until 1940.


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Acquisition Information

Items were in the cage at the time of founding.

Other Formats Available

Selected portions of the record book have been digitized. They include the Constitution and Bylaws Draft 1, Constitution and Bylaws Draft 2, and Pledge with Signatures.


  • Dingledine, Raymond C. “Madison College, the First Fifty Years, 1908-1958.” Harrisonburg, VA: Madison College, 1959.
  • “Debating Club is organized here.” The Breeze, January 7, 1928. Accessed February 13, 2018.

Processing Information

Items were minimally processed, originally located in SU 93-0331, Minutes and Scrapbooks.

A Guide to the Debating Club Records, 1928-1940
Sarah Roth-Mullet
February 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

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612