MS 249 - Shakespeare Round Table (Bowling Green, Ohio)
|MS 249 - Shakespeare Round Table (Bowling Green, Ohio)
The records of the Shakespeare Round Table of Bowling Green, Ohio consist of general material such as a copy of the constitution/bylaws, minutes, program yearbooks, clippings, photographs, and some literary productions in the form of reminiscences or histories produced by club members.
The records were initially collected by the Center for Archival Collections starting in 1981 as part of the Women's Studies Archives NEH grant project through the efforts of Jill Gates Smith, with ongoing additions of program yearbooks continuing over the years. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in May 2004, with revisions in 2007.
Although they met informally as a study group in Bowling Green, Ohio beginning around 1904 or 1905, in the winter of 1905-1906 the ongoing organization known as the Shakespeare Round Table wrote its first constitution/bylaws and elected formal officers. According to the most recent printed history of the club by Naomi Greenfield, the earliest members of the group included women from many of the important families in Bowling Green at the time, such as Mrs. G.W. Munshower, Mrs. F.D. Halleck, Mrs. Fred Kimmons, Mrs. Dudley Avery, and Mrs. Belle Newton.
From the text of the 1968 constitution, largely unchanged over the years, active membership was limited to 20, with vacancies filled by secret ballot. Standing committees include an Executive Committee, Program Committee and a Library Committee. Monthly meetings are held from the first week in October through the end of April or May.
The meeting frequency and format evolved over the years, with some thanks to the early guidance of Mrs. Robert Morris of Toledo, a noted Shakespearean scholar in this area, who aided in program development. As the programs evolved they settled into a pattern of study of two plays a year, with examination of one act per meeting being the norm, although there was a lot of variety in the way topics were approached, as can be seen in the program yearbooks. Each member is fully expected to contribute to the work of the program by preparation of papers or conducting study of the work under discussion during the year. The Round Table continues to follow this format today.
In addition to their formal study of Shakespeare, the women of the Round Table were also actively involved in community betterment projects, particularly focused on the establishment of a Public Library for Bowling Green. Funds were raised through the sponsorship of plays, bake sales, socials, and teas, and other events were organized for which the admission fee was donation of a book. Working over the years with other community organizations, and with the support of the Sentinel-Tribune, the Round Table spearheaded the campaign efforts and in March of 1914 the Shakespeare Round Table rented two rooms on West Wooster in the Exchange Bank building that served as the first subscription library, evolving over the years into the Public Library. This collection continued to grow over the years thanks to the steady support of the club.
|Scope and Content
This collection of material associated with the Shakespeare Round Table of Bowling Green, Ohio covers their programmatic material, with organizational and procedural records such as minutes, and limited correspondence, and financial records.
The most extensive series in this collection are the program yearbooks dating from 1911 that outline the course of study for the particular year and detail the assignments of topics and hostess for each meeting session, which complement the minutes from 1940 through 2000. Other examples of special program topics can also be found in the series of anniversary banquet programs, with scattered dates available starting in 1956 with the 50th anniversary dinner.
Other supporting material documents the activities of the club through news clippings, reminiscences written for the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of the Round Table, a file related to the 100th anniversary, publications about Shakespeare written by Mrs. Robert Morris, a Shakespearean scholar and early supporter of the club activities, photographs from various events, and a history of the Round Table written in 2000 that makes extensive use of those procedural records in this collection.
CONSTITUTION/BYLAWS/CUSTOMARY PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES
JOHN COOPER QUOTE
SHAKESPEARE CENTER/FRIENDS OF SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE
STUDY SHEETS/GUIDES TO PLAYS
TREASURER'S FINANCIAL REPORT/ LEDGER/MEMORIAL FUND RECORDS
HISTORIES AND REMINISCENCES
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIAL
AGNES (MRS. ROBERT CARLTON) MORRIS BOOKS AND FILE
ARTICLES AND NEWSLETTERS
Oversize Box 1