Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / archives / 4.8 Series Descriptions

LibraryGeorge J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives


Student Groups and Organizations, 1806- .

Various Student Groups and Organizations, 1806- n.d.
1.0 linear foot.

Catalog Number:4.8.1

v

Series Description:
This series contains records of short-lived or ephemeral student groups, and student groups with a small amount of material held by the Archives. If a student organization created records of a substantial nature, it has a separate listing.

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by group.

Restrictions: None.


Benevolent Society, 1814-1831, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.2

v

Series Description:
The Benevolent Society was formed in 1814 by twenty-nine members who met in the chapel and adopted a constitution for the purpose of assisting "indigent young men of promising talents and of good moral character in procuring an education at this college." The society was to receive donations in books, furniture and money. A committee of the society, including members of the junior and senior classes, made awards to deserving students with the consent of the executive government of the College. In 1826 the society accepted an Act of Corporation and dissolved itself. This was followed by the formation of the Auxiliary Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College, a strictly student organization which advised the corporated Benevolent Society. In this collection of accounts, constitutions and records, no society material seems to have survived after 1831.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Theological Society, 1820-1850, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.3

v

Series Description:
The Theological Society of Bowdoin College began under the administration of President Appleton. Little is known about the society prior to 1836 because its records were destroyed in the 1836 Maine Hall fire. The preamble of the society's 1836 constitution states the society was interested in the "inquiry 'what is truth';" the group was centered around the study and debate of religious matters. Its meetings were indefinitely suspended in 1850 after suffering a considerable lack of student interest and falling into debt. The series contains acceptance notes, librarian's books, treasurer's reports, and other records.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


African American Society, 1967- , n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.4

v

Series Description:
The African American Society was formed by students in 1968 to increase awareness in the Bowdoin community of the heritage and contributions of black Americans. Since 1969 the Little-Mitchell house, which was renamed the John Brown Russwurm African American Center in 1979, has been the base of the society. The center's library, meeting rooms and social space facilitate the African American Society in providing educational, political, and social support for people of African descent at Bowdoin, and a forum for the exchange of ideas in the Bowdoin community. The series contains announcements of events, programs, information on the dedication of the John Brown Russwurm Center, and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Bowdoin Jewish Organization/Bowdoin Hillel, 1968- , n.d.
0.25 linear feet

Catalog Number:4.8.6

v

Series Description:
The Bowdoin Jewish Association, which became the Bowdoin Jewish Organization (BJO) was established in February 1968 in order to provide Jewish religious, cultural, and social opportunities for Bowdoin students. In 2002 the BJO became the Bowdoin Hillel after affiliating with the national Hillel organization in Washington D.C. The organization presents lectures, shows movies, and sponsors other Jewish and secular activities to provide a sense of community and Jewish life. The series contains flyers, posters, programs, and other printed materials; the 1968 constitution, and typescripts of sermons delivered by Rabbi Maslin.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Bowdoin Outing Club, 1966- , n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.7

v

Series Description:
The Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) was organized in 1948. The club promotes outdoor activities, an appreciation of nature and the environment, and the development of leadership skills. Membership is open to the Bowdoin community, with members entitled to take classes, go on trips, and borrow BOC equipment. Classes range from leadership training to fly fishing, while trips range from hiking and cross country skiing to white water kayaking. Outdoor pre-orientation trips for incoming Bowdoin students have also been coordinated by the Bowdoin Outing Club. The series contains flyers announcing meetings and trips, newsletters, posters, and schedules of activities.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Bowdoin Women's Association, 1974- , n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.8

v

Series Description:
The Bowdoin Women's Association began as a small unofficial organization when women were first admitted to Bowdoin in the early 1970's, and was formally founded during the 1974-1975 academic year, the first year of full coeducation at Bowdoin. The association promotes awareness and education about gender issues through speeches, seminars, workshops, performance artists and other activities. The series contains flyers and posters announcing events, handbooks and newsletters, meeting materials, and miscellaneous printed material. See Other Student Publications for Womyn's Words, a publication funded by the Bowdoin Women's Association.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Student Union Committee/Campus Activities Board (A-Board), 1947- n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.9

v

Series Description:
Chartered in 1947, the Student Union Committee was organized to promote educational and entertaining activities for the student body. In the late 1990's the Student Union Committee became the Campus Activities Board, also referred to as the A-Board. As the name indicates, the function of the organization remains the planning and promotion of activities that contribute to the educational and social life of the College community. The series contains flyers, posters, meeting minutes, and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Y.M.C.A, 1882-1916, n.d.
1.0 linear foot.

Catalog Number:4.8.10

v

Series Description:
The Y.M.C.A. branch at Bowdoin College developed from the College's Praying Circle Society, which voted to become a branch of the Young Men's Christian Association, (Y.M.C.A.) in 1882. The Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. received printed material from the national Y.M.C.A., and students attended conferences with Y.M.C.A. students at other colleges. In addition to holding student prayer meetings and meetings addressed by a faculty member or visiting clergyman, the Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. promoted service. Activities included textbook aid to needy Bowdoin students, leadership in Brunswick boys' gymnastic clubs, and financial assistance to missionaries in India and Labrador. In the late 1920's the Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. became the Bowdoin Christian Association. The series contains a constitution, correspondence, invitations, programs, records, reports, and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Cleaveland Natural History Society, 1859-1861, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.11

v

Series Description:
The Cleaveland Natural History Society of Bowdoin College was founded in June 1859 by students interested in the study of Natural History. Named in honor of Professor Parker Cleaveland, the society met in the room containing the cabinet with his collections, and members presented dissertations on botany, geology, mineralogy, and other subjects of natural history. When the society was formed, it acquired collections belonging to the Peucinian and Athenaean Societies. Honorary members as well as donations to the collections were welcomed. The series contains a constitution, correspondence, dissertations, receipts, reports, and other records.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Phi Alpha Society, 1833-1848, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.12

v

Series Description:
The Phi Alpha Society was the scientific society associated with the Athenaean Literary Society, just as the Caluvian Society was the scientific society associated with the Peucinian Literary Society. Members of the Phi Alpha Society collected a miscellaneous assortment of biological and other specimens as well as a few pictures. Honorary members as well as contributions to the specimen cabinet were sought. No society records have been found after 1848. The series contains correspondence, invitations and responses, reports of the cabinet-keeper and treasurer, and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Independents, 1947-1964, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.13

v

Series Description:
The Independents organization of Bowdoin College was formed in 1947. According to the Independents' constitution, "the purpose of this organization shall be to provide representation in student activities for students who have no other channel for representation." Participation "shall be open to all Bowdoin students who are not members of fraternities, who are members of fraternities not present on the Bowdoin campus, and who are inactive members of Bowdoin fraternities." The series includes a constitution with revisions, meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, invitations, and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by Subject, then Chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Bowdoin Christian Association/Fellowship, 1939-1992, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.14

v

Series Description:
The names Bowdoin Christian Association and Y.M.C.A. were used interchangeably for a number of years; the association formally became the Bowdoin Christian Association in the late 1920's. The Bowdoin Christian Association carried on many of the activities of the Y.M.C.A., inviting clergy to campus, conducting bible study, and leading discussion groups on various aspects of Christianity. From 1954 to 1962 the organization was known as the Bowdoin Interfaith Forum, and from the 1970's, as the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship. Despite the name changes, the aim of the organization remains the formation of a close-knit community of Christians and those interested in learning more about Christianity through music, bible study, prayer and fellowship. The series contains correspondence, flyers, newspaper clippings, programs, and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Bowdoin Interfaith Forum, 1954-1962, n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.15

v

Series Description:
In 1954 the Bowdoin Christian Association became known as the Bowdoin Interfaith Forum with the aim of attracting more Catholics and non-Christian students, thereby increasing membership. With its new name, the Bowdoin Interfaith Forum continued activities such as inviting clergy to speak at chapel service and conducting religious discussion through religious forums. Unsuccessful in engaging broader student involvement, the Bowdoin Interfaith Forum resumed the name Bowdoin Christian Association in 1962. The series contains information on the constitution and budget, correspondence, newspaper clippings, programs and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


WBOR, 1941, 1947, 1966- , n.d.
0.50 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.16

v

Series Description:
WBOR (91.1 FM) is a non-commercial, community radio station chartered to the President and Trustees of Bowdoin College. WBOR plays music of all types, as well as featuring sports and news programming. Prior to 1951 a weekly radio program "Bowdoin-on-the-Air" was presented by Bowdoin undergraduates through the facilities of station WGAN in Portland. As the result of a gift from the Bowdoin class of 1924, a radio station was built on campus in 1951 on the second floor of Moulton Union and was called WBOA (Bowdoin-on-the-Air). In the late 1950's the campus station became FM and was called WBOR (Bowdoin-on-Radio). The series contains program guides and other printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Praying Circle, 1815-1882
6 Volumes

Catalog Number:4.8.17

v

Series Description:
The six volumes in this series contain records of voluntary student prayer meetings including their constitution, members and attendance, prayers, comments on lectures by attending ministers and faculty members, and statements about the moral and religious condition of the College. Based on groundwork laid a few years earlier by a small number of religiously oriented tutors and students, the Praying Society originated in 1815 and officially changed its name to the Praying Circle in 1835. Meeting in student rooms or recitation rooms, the students supported the temperance movement on campus, foreign missions, and corresponded with similar student societies on other campuses. In 1882, the Praying Circle disbanded, voting to become a branch of the Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.).

Arrangement: Chronological.

Restrictions: None.


BGSA/BQSA (Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance), 1979- , n.d.
0.50 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.18

v

Series Description:
The BGSA (Bowdoin Gay-Straight Alliance) received its charter from the Student Executive Board in 1980. In the last half of the 1980's the organization was known as BGLSA (Bowdoin Gay/Lesbian-Straight Alliance), in the 1990's as B-GLAD (Bisexual Gay Lesbian Alliance for Diversity), in the early 2000's as BGSA (Bisexual Gay Straight Alliance), and then back to BGSA (Bowdoin Gay/Straight Alliance) beginning 2002-2003. By 2004 the student-led group was known as the Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance (BQSA). Despite name changes, the goals of the organization have remained the same; to provide a support group for people who wish to discuss relationships of all types and to inform the Bowdoin community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues. The bulk of the material is from the 1980's and early 1990's. The series contains chronological files, correspondence, flyers, financial records, and miscellaneous printed material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


Bowdoin Film and Video Society, 1963- , n.d.
0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:4.8.19

v

Series Description:
Possibly an outgrowth of a Brunswick Film Society which scheduled films on campus in the 1960's, the Bowdoin Film Society, a student organization, sponsored films on campus in the 1970's and used box office proceeds to buy films for the permanent collection and to finance some student film work. As part of an affiliated English course, the society made annual awards to Bowdoin students recognizing achievement in technical and creative film making. In the mid 1980's the society was no longer involved with the English class and annual awards, and shortly thereafter became the Bowdoin Film and Video Society. The society's name changed again in the early 2000's to the Film/Video Society, but continues bringing a variety of movies to campus that are free and open to the public. The series contains flyers and posters announcing upcoming movies.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, then chronological.

Restrictions: None.


George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288