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Staff Organizations. University Of Maine Spectator Club Records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA RG 0008-005

Scope and Contents

The record groups contains copies of the club constitution, a history of its founding, group photographs of members taken on three different dates, a list of program topics, a few event programs, letters, bills, receipts, and minutes from meetings 1911-2000. Many of the letters offer thanks for support of various causes. Other letters thank the group for gifts and condolences following the death of one of the members. Minutes include detailed accounts of meetings along with lists of officers, members, attendance, speakers, entertainers, topics, dues, expenditures, and treasurer's reports.

For the years 2010 onwards there is also printed copies of emails regarding arranging meetings, copies of presentation material and supporting material on topics discussed at Club meetings.


  • 1911-2020


Conditions Governing Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval. Personal identifiable and sensitive information will be redacted before release. There are digital copies of Club material from 2015-2020 that can be accessed in Special collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on literary rights available in the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department.

Historical Note

The Spectator Club was organized on March 31, 1911 in Orono, Maine, to provide a club for a few younger members of the University of Maine faculty to engage in intellectual discussion. L.E. (Elmer) Woodman, Professor of Physics, is credited with the idea forming the group. Charter members included professors Everett Davee, Archer Grover, Walter Curtis, and Lowell J. Reed. Inspired partly by similar area women's groups and another local organization, the Conversation Club (organized in Orono, April 6, 1897), the plan for the Spectator Club was for each member to take turns hosting, selecting, researching, and speaking on a topic of personal interest. Each presentation was followed by group discussion. A history of the club compiled by James A. Gannett in 1949 mentions that the name of the club seems to have been inspired by an English daily publication called The Spectator, founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele and distributed in England from 1711-1712. The publication was aimed at an emerging middle class and attempted to bring philosophy out of colleges and libraries to become more accessible in clubs, assemblies, tea-tables and coffee houses. Spectator Club members spoke on a wide variety of topics of personal interest related to local, university, and national events, including travel, history, hobbies, books, and innovation in various fields.


1 box

2 boxes (Half size boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Box numbers have changed:

  1. Old Box #396 (New Boxes 1 & 2)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records for 1911 to 1983 deposited by Norman Wilkinson, club secretary, in 1985. Minutes for 1995-2000 added by William L. Soule in 2012. Miuntes and supporting material for 2010-2020 donated by Robert W. Rice, Emeritus Professor of Wood Physics and Bioenergy, University of Maine in 2020.


Accruals from the Spectator Club are anticipated.

University of Maine. Spectator Club Records
Matthew Revitt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library University Archives Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States