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Carlyle Literary Society (Purdue University)



  • Existence: 1881 - 1923

Historical Information

The Carlyle Literary Society was started in 1881. Originally a part of the Irving Literary Society, the twenty-six founding members of the Carlyle left the Irving as a result of growing discontent within the society. The Carlyle, like the other literary societies at Purdue, hosted annual events showcasing their skills. The society was also involved in the publication of The Purdue (an early student-run newspaper) and eventually The Exponent. The Carlyle held weekly meetings in Society Hall, a space they shared with the Philalethian Literary Society (the first women’s society on campus). The Carlyle Literary Society eventually joined four literary societies at other universities to found Kappa Phi Sigma, a national honorary literary fraternity in 1923. After this time, the Carlyle Literary Society as a distinct entity ceased to function, instead acting under the auspices of Kappa Phi Sigma. This may have been due in part to the apparent decrease in student interest in such societies around this time. Kappa Phi Sigma was active until 1937, when it no longer appeared in the student handbook lists of activities and organizations.


Debris yearbooks, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

MSP 101, Philalethean Literary Society records, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

MSP 34, Irving Literary Society records, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Carlyle Literary Society records

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 141
Scope and Contents The Carlyle Literary Society records (1881-1922; 1 cubic foot) documents the meetings and activities of the Carlyle Literary Society, active at Purdue from 1881-1923.  The collection includes records books that document the meetings of the society, its finances, and its constitution, as well as programs documenting society-sponsored events, and surveys administered to prospective new members.  At this time, there are no records documenting the change by the Carlyle Literary Society to Kappa Phi...
Dates: 1881 - 1922

Collection of literary society constitutions

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 143
Scope and Contents The Collection of Literary Society constitutions documents the constitutions and amendments of three literary societies at Purdue University, as well as the Purdue Pharmaceutical Society.  The literary societies included are: Irving, Carlyle, and Philalethean.  This collection might be useful for researchers interested in information on any of these societies or literary societies in general, extracurricular activities of students, and Purdue history.  The collection is comprised of a ledger...
Dates: 1882

The Purdue student newspaper (1880s) collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 245
Scope and Contents Includes a complete run of The Purdue student newspaper of the 1880s, which ran from 1882-1888. A total of 54 issues appear in the collection, separated into six volumes. Volume 1 has eight issues, published monthly from November 1882 until June 1883. Volumes 2 through 6 have nine issues each, published monthly from October to June. There is also a Special Edition issue published in June 1888, in addition to the regularly published June issue for that year. Also present in the...
Dates: November 1882 - June 1888