Hull Literary Club

Scope and Content

The archive comprises a complete series of the club's minute books 1879-1979 and miscellaneous items including lectures and addresses, a volume of press cuttings, copies of the club's first magazine, a small number of letters, the menu for the 50th Jubilee dinner and programmes of Christmas festivities.

Administrative / Biographical History

The records of this club held by Hull University Archives go back to 1879, the year of its foundation. The first meeting was held in the council room of the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society at the instigation of William Andrews, an antiquarian scholar and lover of literature, who became the club's first secretary. The first president was Dr Evan Fraser and the first council included J Wildridge, a local historical writer of some note. The stated objectives of the club were to encourage local research and protect and support the interests of local authors, and to form a library of works about Hull and its district. The subscription was five shillings per annum.

The inaugural dinner of the club took place in January 1880 and its first ordinary meeting a month later at rented rooms at 9 Savile Street. From thereon meetings were held regularly, sometimes as often as weekly, and they took the format of papers followed by discussion on literature and topics of local interest. The pace of activity slowed after the initial burst, the club moved to rooms at the Station Hotel for nearly forty years and it began holding yearly Christmas festivities which included storytelling and songs. By the mid-1880s there were 150 members including J A Spender (at that time on the staff of the Eastern Morning News) and the Reverend (later archdeacon) Malet Lambert. Each meeting saw about thirty members in attendance and papers were delivered exclusively by members, many being subsequently published.

The heyday of the club was the 1920s and 1930s when membership rose above 220 and included Redwood Anderson and Noble Wood. The club's journal was renamed Humberside from 1921-2 and it is the main vehicle for publishing papers by members. Writers and poets who have been part of the club's more recent membership include Lionel Rosen, Kenneth Hibbert, Philip Larkin and Alan Plater.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Other Finding Aids

Entry in Modern English literature subject guide

Custodial History

U DLC/1- 18 Deposited 24 March 1980

U DLC/19-37 Deposited by Mrs AB Nicholson, Monk's Garth, Ottringham, 3 April 1981

U DLC/38-42 Presented May, 1981

U DLC/43 Presented by Dr PA Larkin, May 1981