Forum / Ethical Culture Club Records

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 002

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Forum / Ethical Culture Club Records


  • 1908-1928 (Creation)


0.21 linear feet [1 half document case]

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Forum was organized in Brookings, South Dakota in January 1906. It was then called the Ethical Culture Club; according to one of its historians. It held its original meetings on Sunday and "was to be a substitute on a basis of liberal theology for church going". These early days notwithstanding, the Forum, as it became known after October 14, 1910, was essentially a meeting for the free discussion of any topic of interest. Topics included, child labor laws, the establishment of a public library, promotion of a league to enforce peace, and the use of metric measures. Many of these topics, particularly the building of a library, actually became calls to action.

The Forum was made up of members of both the college and the town with the majority being drawn from all parts of the College. According to William Powers, Forum historian, the outside membership has been distributed among different professions, including clergymen. Membership seems to have only been limited to men, with the added provision that all members were expected at some time to present a paper.

Governance of the organization was made up of a president, vice president and secretary treasurer who made up the executive committee. There were also two standing committees for programs and for membership.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Composed of miscellanies from both the era of the Forum and the time of the Ethical Culture Club. Materials from the latter era consist of the record of meetings from the years 1908-1910. Material for the latter years includes the minutes of meetings, a copy of the constitution, some miscellaneous materials and a history of the club written by William Powers.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Physical access

The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

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Notes element

General note

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General note

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Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)




MA 2

Description control element

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