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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|Size||12.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 6850 items)|
|Abstract||The Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate was formed in 1959 in an initially unsuccessful effort to reverse the decline of the University of North Carolina's historic Dialectic and Philanthropic societies. Membership increased in the 1970s as a result of publicity and special programs. Records of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate include meeting minutes; correspondence; committee records; financial records; membership lists; constitution and bylaws; publicity materials; and pictures, some of them 19th-century images of former members of the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies. Audiovisual materials include a 1997 documentary about the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies.|
|Creator||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
The Dialectic Society and the Philanthropic Society, founded as separate societies in 1795, were the first student organizations at the University of North Carolina. Until the 1860s they supplemented the disciplinary responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and the faculty, and until the late 19th century they exercised many of the functions of present-day student government. In addition, throughout their history the societies have provided training in oratory, debating, and the essay style of composition.
Throughout most of the university's history, membership in the societies was voluntary; and new members were admitted by a vote of the old members. Until the 20th century, almost the entire student body belonged to one of the two societies. Generally, though not exclusively, students from the eastern portion of the state joined the Philanthropic Society and those from the western portion joined the Dialectic Society. This practice seems to have grown out of the early sectional rivalry between east and west.
The societies disbanded when the university closed during Reconstruction. After the university's reopening in 1875, they reorganized and flourished. In 1885 a resolution of the Board of Trustees required all enrolled students ("except medical, law, and students taking postgraduate or special courses, and such as may be specially excused by the faculty") to belong to one of the societies. This action resulted from the urging of University President Kemp P. Battle and the faculty, who wanted to foster the societies' disciplinary function. By 1895, however, the university had dropped this membership requirement; the course catalog published in that year states that "although membership in the societies is entirely optional, yet it is earnestly recommended by the faculty."
The end of compulsory membership, the gradual loss of their disciplinary function to the new Student Council, changing student interests, and the multiplication of campus organizations competing for student attention were all factors that caused the two societies to decline in vitality and membership during the early decades of the 20th century. In 1919 the Philanthropic Society reorganized itself according to the plan of the General Assembly of North Carolina and became the Philanthropic Assembly. In 1924 the Dialectic Society reorganized as the Dialectic Senate. The disruptive effects of World War II, however, hastened the decline. The Philanthropic Assembly discontinued meetings in 1943, and the Dialectic Senate barely survived the war period. In the decade following the war both societies witnessed a rejuvenation. However, by the mid-1950s they were again in decline.
In May 1959, the Senate and the Assembly began to meet as the Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate. Even this expedient was not fully successful in ensuring growth. By 1970 active membership in the Joint Senate had been reduced to one, Stanley Greenberg. Greenberg was able to persuade 13 of his fellow students to join the Senate. Among these new members was George Blackburn, who as president of the Joint Senate, mounted a concerted rebuilding program. Under Blackburn's leadership and that of his successors, particularly Roger Kirkman, membership increased through a program of publicity and special activities. In 1974 the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies Foundation, Inc., was established to ensure preservation of the societies' literary, historical, and artistic properties. By the late 1970s membership had risen to a healthy level, and the foundation began a restoration program for the societies' portrait collection.Back to Top
Records of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill include meeting minutes; correspondence; committee records; financial records; membership lists; constitutions and bylaws; publicity materials; and pictures, some of them 19th-century images of former members of the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies. Audiovisual materials include audio of the 1999 Coates Battle lecture and video of a 1999 Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate meeting and a 1997 documentary about the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies.Back to Top
This series includes minutes of Joint Senate regular and special meetings. Copies of the bills and resolutions as well as the speeches presented during the meetings are filed in this Series 2.
(meeting of 5 December 1994, only)
(includes videocassette of 18 October 1999 meeting; shelved separately as VT-40153/1)
This series includes materials supportive of the minutes found in Series 1. In many instances, similar items will be found among the minutes.
This subseries contains copies of the Joint Senate's presidential addresses, member speeches, and isolated debate notes.
(includes photocopies of published addresses made in 1836 and 1876)
This subseries contains copies of the bills debated and the resolutions approved during senate meetings.
This subseries contains correspondence of the Joint Senate's presidents and other officers. The items in the general files are routine.
(at the University of Georgia)
(see also Folder 18)
(see also Folder 15)
(includes pins and metal production molds for the pins, shelved separately as MU-40153/2-4)
(includes emblem mold created circa 1989, shelved separately as MU-40153/1)
Arrangement: Alphabetical by filename, individual files arranged chronologically.
This series contains reports and, in some instances, correspondence of the Joint Senate's officers and committees. Similar material may be found among the minutes in Series 1.
Constitution Committee Records, 1974; 1997-1999; 2002-2003 #40153, Series: "3. Committee Records, 1960-2004." Box 4
(see also Series 6)
(includes various oversized proofs and blank diploma examples, shelved separately as OP-40153/4)
Historian's Records, undated; 1963-1964; 1966; 1975; 1980-1982, 1988; 1990-1992; 1995-2001; 2003 #40153, Series: "3. Committee Records, 1960-2004." Box 4
(includes rubbings of gravestones from the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, shelved separately as OP-40153/folder 1)
Membership Committee Records, undated; 1963-1964; 1966; 1975; 1980-1982; 1988; 1990-1992; 1995-2000; 2002-2004 #40153, Series: "3. Committee Records, 1960-2004." Box 4
(see also Series 5)
Arrangement: By format.
This series contains accounts and reports of the Joint Senate's treasurers. Included are scattered financial records of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies Foundation, Inc.
(includes treasurer's reports and various accounts of receipts and expenditures)
Arrangement: By format.
This series contains membership and attendance records of the Joint Senate.
|Oversize Volume SV-40153/1|
This series contains the adopted versions and proposed revisions of the Joint Senate's constitution and bylaws. This material is duplicated in, and in some cases presented more thoroughly in, the minutes in Series 1.
(includes form of ceremony to inaugurate senate presidents and to initiate new members, 1983)
Folder 10: 1993; 1995; 1997-1998; 2000-2001 #40153, Series: "6. Constitution and Bylaws, 1959-2001." Box 6
(includes form of ceremony to induct new members)
This series contains copies of the posters, circulars, and news releases issued by the Joint Senate to publicize its activities.
(includes various designs for Dialectic and Philanthropic societies emblems, shelved separately as OP-40153/folder 4)
(includes clippings mounted on posterboard, shelved separately as OP-40153/folder 2; also oversized advertisement posters, shelved separately as OP-40153/folder 3)
(includes videocassette of "The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies" a documentary, 1997, shelved separately as VT-40153/2; and videocassette of "Limelight" featuring Jeanne Fugate, 1995, shelved separately as VT-40153/3)
|Oversize Volume SV-40153/2|
Arrangement: Alphabetical by last name for identified individuals, then roughly chronological.
This series contains photographs and engravings, many from the 19th century, of members of the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies. Most are of individuals, but also included are several group photographs, including one 1879 and three circa 1901-1903 photographs of the Philanthropic Society. In addition, there are photographs of some of the portraits that belong to the societies and a 1981 honors essay about the portraits. (N) indicates that a photographic negative is available.
|Oversize Image OP-P-40153/14|
|Oversize Image OP-P-40153/19|
(photograph of woman on verso; Mrs. Phillips?)
|Oversize Image OP-P-40153/37-39|
|Oversize Image OP-P-40153/103-104|
The December, 1989-1993; 1998 #40153, Series: "8. Photographs, 1879-2000 and undated." P-40153/116-224
(The December is a gala ball held by the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies)
Acquitions information: Records transfers recieved 2010-2014 (RT 20100920.1, 20101027.1, 20110204.1, 20110408.1, 20120522.1, 20130528.1, 20140507.1, 20140514.2, 20141008.1).
Arrangement: The organization's original arrangement has been retained.
The Addition of 2017 consists of materials similar to those in the original eight series, including minutes, addresses, committee reports, Philanthropic Society journals, photographs, an audio recording of the 1999 Coates Battle lecture, and other administrative records.
|Oversize Volume SV-40153/3|
|Digital Folder DF-40153/1|
|Digital Folder DF-40153/2|
Donated by Kevin Cherry in July 2017 (RT 20170711.1).
This addition consists of posters advertising Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate events. Events represented include debates on the effectiveness of the spoken word, whether modern literature should be taught at UNC, and "what makes an educated person, Jordan Lake, and the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke Supreme Court case; a forum on the trial of Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members responsible for the Greensboro Massacre, a talk by McNeill Smith on the relationship between the University and the state, a talk on the Song of Songs, poetry nights, Irish music performances, a performance of Vivaldi's The Seasons,
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-40153/5|