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Storrs School Literary Society Records

Identifier: 1999-0112

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, reports, membership lists and other pertinent and ephemeral materials concerning the history, organization, and fraternal affiliates of the Storrs School Literary Society.


  • undated, 1894-1987.


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


In 1888, students and faculty of the Storrs Agricultural School formed a literary club. The purpose of the Storrs School Literary Society was to foster good fellowship and encourage the cultural interests of its members by discussing literary works of value. In November 1893 the group was officially recorgnized by the Storrs Agricultural College and changed its name to the Storrs Agricultural College Literary Club with S.H. Buell as its first president. It was the first student organization recognized by the college.

On May 18, 1894, the the thirteen members of the Literary Club affiliated with the College Shakespearean Club at the Massachusetts Agricultural School, which had been founded in 1879. The new organization established itself as the College Shakespearean Club. By 1910, the Club had grown to twenty-six members or 26% of the male enrollment of what was now known as Connecticut Agricultural College.

In 1921, the Club purchased land near the campus and built a house as a residence for its members while attending the college. Two years later in October 1923, the group elected to reorganize themselves into a Greek fraternity and from the first three letters of their former name, adopted the name Theta Sigma Chi (θΣΧ), even though members still considered themselves "Shakes" men. For years the yearbook carried the statement that Theta Sigma Chi preferred the independence and distinction of being a local fraternity.

In 1940, the fraternity sold the house they had built to the University and its members took up residence in the Fraternity Quadrangle. The group chose to affiliate with the national fraternity, Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ) in 1942 becoming the Epsilon Zeta chapter, the 136th chapter in the United States. Due to a discrimination clause in the national charter, the fraternity reverted back to local status and again took the name of Theta Sigma Chi in 1951. In 1964, the membership of Theta Sigma Chi fell below the required forty men to maintain University housing privileges. Theta Sigma Chi lost its charter and an independent house was set up in its place while the assets of the fraternity were sold at a considerable loss.

In 1965, an opportunity arose for the "Shakes" and three other former fraternities to regain their charters by the fall of 1966 as a result of President Babbidge's consideration of the Fraternity Study Report. In order to be recognized again, the fraternities would have to attain minimum memberships of 25 by September 1965 and 40 by September 1966. By 1967, the fraternity had re-established itself and moved to the West Campus dormitories. It celebrated it's 75th anniversary in May 1967.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains correspondence, reports, membership lists and other pertinent and ephemeral materials concerning the history, organization, and fraternal affiliates of the Storrs School Literary Society (later the College Shakespearean Club).


The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series I: Records (undated, 1894-1987)

Acquisition Information

The materials in the collection were donated by Mrs. Louise T. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson's husband, Reuben, was Director of Alumni Relations at the University of Connecticut and served as a trustee for the assets of the organization for many years. The assets were transferred to the University in 1996.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to the University, its history, administration, faculty, staff and students. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

"Shakes" News (1932, 1949, 1950) Dodd Periodicals

College Shakespearean Club Directory (1896, 1898, 1900, 1909) Dodd Periodicals

The following banquet programs have been integrated into the University Memorabilia Collection:

1898, 1899, 1904, 1906-1908, 1922, 1926

Storrs School Literary Society Records
Archives & Special Collections staff
2008 June
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US