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Records, 1920-1945, of Eau Claire Literary Club (Columbia, S.C.)

Fourteen manuscripts, 1936-1945 and undated, and two manuscript volumes, 1920-1945, of the Eau Claire Literary Club, Columbia, include lists of members and officers (dating from 1911); notes on the history of the club; newspaper publicity; letters acknowledging contributions to the Ridgewood Tuberculosis Camp, Columbia; reports of Red Cross work undertaken during World War I; and minutes of meetings, 1920-1945.

Organized in September 1911 at the home of Mrs. Charles C. Muller, the Eau Claire Literary Club was formed for the purpose of reading and exchanging magazines and books. Membership dues were used to pay for magazine subscriptions and books which later became the nucleus of a circulating library in the Eau Claire community. This library operated first out of the home of Mrs. Muller at 609 Wildwood Avenue and then from a room in the Lutheran Survey Building. Residents of the Eau Claire community paid one dollar per year for the use of the library. The library was disbanded in 1917 when members decided to work as a Red Cross Auxiliary. Books suitable for a school library were given to Hyatt Park School; the remainder of the collection was donated to the Camp Jackson library. Following the First World War, the club undertook charitable work on behalf of local children and those in war ravaged Europe, made annual contributions to women inmates, and during the Depression years paid for school lunches for underpriveledged children. During World War II, it co-sponsored a victory garden contest for students at the school in partnership with the Eau Claire Garden Club.

Minutes of the club are significant for what they reveal concerning the club women's interest in social issues of the day, which ranged as far as Native-American relief efforts and birth control, as well as for their documentation of the club's study of literature. South Carolina writers whose works were read and discussed by members included Henry Bellamann, Genevieve Wilcox Chandler, Duncan Clinch Heyward, and Archibald Rutledge. The club also studied South Carolina history, using for its texts books by Mary C. Simms Oliphant and Helen Kohn Hennig.

| 1999 Manuscripts Collections | 1999 USCS Table of Contents | South Caroliniana Library |

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