Records of The Bryson Club
Collection Scope and Content Summary
Organizational records, correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs document the Bryson Club between 1923 and 1995. The collection is divided into four series: I. Administrative Files, 1923-1995; II. Correspondence, 1932-1985; III. Memorabilia, 1931-1993; IV. Photographic material, 1980-1989. The first series, Administrative Files, 1923-1995, includes documentation on the club's members, meetings, financial records, and founding. The official membership rosters are of particular interest. Correspondence, 1932-1985, includes incoming and outgoing letters from Bryson Exes, William Bryson scholarship recipients, and university administration. The third series, Memorabilia, 1931-1933, contains newspaper clippings, club artifacts, and guest books. The last series, Photographic material, 1980-1989, includes pictures from initiation meetings and annual club parities. The records are arranged in the organizations' original filing system, with the exception of loose material. Photographs were removed from two deteriorating albums for preservation. The records do not contain literary material written by members.
- Creation: 1923-1995
- Creation: Majority of material found in 1960-1985
- Bryson Club (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
The English department formed the Bryson Club in 1923 to encourage students in the creation of literature. The Bryson club’s name honored Chair of the English Department (1917-1922), Walter Buxton Bryson after his death. Prior to his tenure at TCU, Dr. Bryson taught English with academic distinction at Lincoln Memorial University and Harvard University. Mabel Major and Rebecca Smith Lee became the club’s first faculty advisors. In 1933, Lorraine Sherley took over as advisor, guiding the club for over 50 years until her death in 1984. In 1981, Ernest Allen became co-advisor, and donated the club’s records to TCU prior to his death in 2007. The club invited juniors and seniors with a 3.0 G.P.A or higher to join, and hosted bi-monthly meetings in which students submitted and read manuscripts, plays, poems, essays, or short stories. Beginning in 1935, the club extended invitations to upperclassmen other than English majors. In 1938, the club established a scholarship fund to assist qualified members. Under the leadership of John B. Collier, III in 1952, alumni formed the Bryson Exes who later funded the Walter E. Bryson Scholarship. The financial assistance offered to its members distinguished the club from other organizations. The Bryson club continues to exist in 2014 under the name Bryson Literary Society. The club crest was the Bryson Buxton shield. It bared a Horned Frog and three stars signifying social and physical health, scholarship, and leadership. The club colors were white, blue, and gold. The club’s motto was “Do it with thy might.”
3.75 linear feet
Language of Materials
Organizational records, correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs document the Bryson Club between 1923 and 1995. The records reflect the club's original filing organization, with the exception of loose material. The papers document the membership and activities of the club, and the Bryson scholarship recipients. No literary works from members are included in the collection.
Arranged in four series: I. Administrative Files, 1923-1995; II. Correspondence, 1932-1985; III. Memorabilia, 1931-1993; IV. Photographic material, 1980-1989.
Vault CF 3
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donation made by Ernest Allen Jr. in 2003.
Genre / Form
- Guide to the Records of the Bryson Club
- Record Unit 39
- Compiled by Miriam Elizabeth Villanueva
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script