Ladies' Literary Club of Salt Lake City photograph collection, 1895-2008

Overview of the Collection

Ladies' Literary Club of Salt Lake City photograph collection
1895-2008 (inclusive)
6 boxes
Collection Number
The Ladies Literary Club of Salt Lake City photograph collection consists of club activities and members: trips, meetings, as well as photos of the clubhouse.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Carrying on the spirit of Sorosis, the pioneer women's club founded in New York in 1868, a group of Utah women organized a small strictly cultural club called the Blue Tea in 1875. This small club did not develop into the Ladies' Literary Club as is often believed, but rather the Ladies' Literary Club was an outgrowth of the Blue Tea Club.

The Blue Tea was an exclusive club that restricted membership to only the literary elite. However, there existed within this club a small group of women who felt there was a need in the isolated community for an unlimited club that would reach out to all women who desired intellectual experiences and companionship. As a result, in February of 1877, this small band of broad-minded women seceded from the Blue Tea Club, which now has the distinction of being the oldest women's club west of the Mississippi River.

In order to be in a position to transact business, the club incorporated under laws of the territory of Utah in 1882, and ten years later a notable milestone was reached when the group joined the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

The formal opening of the first clubhouse took place on 7 January 1898. Fifteen years later the group moved into its new clubhouse located on the old Brigham Street, now South Temple, where it continues to operate. From the beginning, the Ladies' Literary Club has offered the use of its clubhouse for charitable and educational causes, and it continues to be used for many community, civic, and social purposes. In 1976, the Ladies' Literary Club received a plaque designating their clubhouse as a Utah State Historical Landmark.

The main subject of study in the early years was history. Later, different sections were formed to satisfy the needs and interests of the members. At present, there are seven sections of study: Browning-Poetry, Arts and Arts and Crafts, Drama-Music, Civics-Parliamentary Law and Current Events, History-Tourism, and Junior and Readers.

From the beginning, the Ladies' Literary Club took an active interest in matters of community welfare, though its primary purpose lay in "literary pursuits and development of mental culture." Helping to bring about the first free public library was one of the first important community projects participated in by the club. Using the proceeds from a carnival fund-raiser, the club purchased two thousand books as a beginning to the library. The members also worked for the passage of the library bill, providing for support of the library by the city. Other projects include free kindergartens, high school art and music contests, scholarship funds, and the placing of art in public schools. The club remains active in community and civic affairs and is represented on the Women's State Legislative Council of Utah.

Mrs. J. C. Role, the first president, described the club, saying "As an infant the Club was most ambitious. We essayed great things--We were, indeed, a most precocious infant." After one hundred years of accomplishment, club historian Mrs. J. Bracken Lee described the club as "the grande dame of East South Temple."

History written by Allesen Peck, 1984.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Ladies Literary Club of Salt Lake City photograph collection consists of club activities and members: trips, meetings, as well as photos of the clubhouse.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library's Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Separated Materials

See also the Ladies Literary Club of Salt Lake City records (MS 0439) located in the Manuscripts Division of Special Collections.

Processing Note

Processed by Dale Larsen in 1994.

Related Materials

Forms part of the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archives.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1 Ladies Literary Club House 850 East South Temple 1937
1 2 Royalty
1 3 Club Members
1 4 Ninetieth Birthday Breakfast 1966
1 5 Birthday Breakfast February 18 1967
1 6 Valentine Breakfast February 5 1972
1 7 1970-1980s
1 8 Citizen's Conference 1980
1 9 May 1993
1 10 Photos 1996
1 11 Screening of The Angel of Death 1997
1 12 Club Members 1997
1 13 Student Recital Spring 1997
1 14 Ladies Literary Club 1999-2000
1 15 September 1999
1 16 November 1999
1 17 December 1999
1 18 January 2000
1 19 April 2000
1 20 May 2000
1 21 December 2000
1 22 Ladies Literary Club 2000-2001
1 23 Fashion Show 2000-2001
1 24 Ladies Literary Club 2002-2003
1 25 October 2002
1 26 December-January 2002-2003
1 27 February 2003
1 28 Ladies Literary Club 2003-2004
2 1 April-May 2005
2 2 August 2005
2 3 September 2005
2 4 October 2005
2 5 November 2005
2 6 December 2005
2 7 Ladies Literary Club 2007
2 8 March-April 2008
3 1 Salt Lake Clubhouse
3 2 Moscow
3 3 Italy
3 4 The Taj Mahal
3 5 Paris
3 6 Cathedrals
3 7 Mosques
3 8 Art
4 1 Greece 1895
5 1 Scrapbook
6 1 Los Angeles Beach Panorama

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Women--Utah--Salt Lake City--Societies and clubs--Photographs

Corporate Names

  • Ladies' Literary Club (Salt Lake City, Utah)--Photographs