Skip to main content

Brigham Young Academy. Polysophical Society

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1878-1903

Administrative History

The Polysophical Society (1878-1903) was a student organization for public speaking at Brigham Young Academy.

The Polysophical Society was established by Principal Karl G. Maeser during the second term of the second academic year of Brigham Young Academy. The Society provided evening lectures for the community, allowing students the opportunity to engage in public speaking. Guest speakers from outside the Academy also presented at this events.

Beginning in 1900, the Society began to transition away from providing speakers to acting as a lecture bureau. This included providing both lectures and musical performances as part of their schedule. Season tickets for these events were sold at a nominal price.

Citation

Records, 1884-1939 (Polysophical Society)

"Doings of the Polysophical Society," Academic review 1, no. 1 (October 1884): p. 1 ("The above named society was founded by Principal K. G. Maeser during the . . . second academic year [1877]")

Brigham Young University, 1975: vol. 1 p. 184 (Polysophical Society; est. during second term of second academic year; James E. Talmage served as president; membership was optional; provided evening lectures to students and Provo residents; club provided speakers from their membership, but guest speakers also brought in; discussions focused on literature, science, fine arts, and government; concerts, dramas, operas, lectures, moot courts, and other activities also included)

Brigham Young Academy and Church Normal Training School catalogue and announcements, 1902: p. 25 (furnished public speaking and recreation activities; in last two years transition assumed character of lecture bureau; brought in best of lectures and music; season tickets available at a nominal price)

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

William Edward Clark papers related to Brigham Young Academy

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 5000
Scope and Contents Contains items gathered by William Edward Clark while a student at Brigham Young Academy between 1876 and 1903. They include invitations to Polysophical Society events, class examinations, class notes, a course catalog, an invitation to the World's Fair Ball held in 1893 in Provo, and an issue of the White and Blue.
Dates: 1876-1903

Polysophical Society minutes

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 2879
Scope and Contents Two pages of handwritten minutes of the society's first two meetings, held in the Lewis Building at Brigham Young Academy on November 30 and December 7, 1877. Minutes include summary of Karl G. Maeser's comments on the society's functions, and qualifications for membership. The society's first president was Joseph Keeler, a recent Brigham Young Academy graduate. Minutes recorded by Fannie Rogers, secretary.
Dates: 1877

Polysophical Society records

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 84
Scope and Contents Includes minutes of the Polysophical Society 1892-1895; souvenir copies of the first Society meeting agenda; and several handwritten notes.
Dates: 1884-1939; Majority of material found within 1892-1895

Polysophical Society records

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 226
Scope and Contents Contains meeting minutes, programs, membership records, and party invitations. Also includes a brief history and correspondence from Herald R. Clark to Ernest L. Wilkinson concerning Polysophical Society as forerunner of lyceum course.
Dates: 1880-1895

The academic review, 1884 October

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 22
Identifier: UA P 2 Series 1 Item 37
Scope and Contents Photostatic reproduction of the cover of the first issue of the Academic Review published by the Brigham Young Academy Polysophical Society.
Dates: Publication: 1884 October