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Laurel Social and Service Club Yearbooks

Identifier: M668

Form of Material

Yearbooks from two Laurel Area social and service clubs: the L’Amitie Literary Club and the Council of Garden Clubs.


  • 1963/64-1967/68

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Before the American women’s social movement in the mid-19th century, most women associations were under the direction and influence of men. This social movement created the ‘club movement’ which “provide women an independent avenue for education and active community service.” [1]

The clubs Sorosis and New England Women’s Club were formed in 1868 to provide an avenue for women to become better educated. [2] Jane Croly, who founded Sorosis, and Julia Ward Howe, founder of the New England Women’s Club, “traveled the country promoting the value of clubs administered and controlled by women.” [3] Croly and Howe hoped these clubs would promote voluntary community service and better society.

Initially, club members were middle-aged women white women from society who were housewives because of limited education opportunities at that time period. Literature and history were often the topics of discussion in these meetings, while some clubs specialized in the study of law, music, or other fields. Some groups encouraged self-improvement along with voluntary community service along with advocating the need for parks, kindergartens, and libraries.

“Such clubs often accomplished their goals in town councils through sheer persistence and determination—a remarkable achievement considering that, prior to enfranchisement, women had no sanctioned political voice.” [4]

Most club membership today continues to be middle-aged white women from upper middle class society, but times are changing now. Since many of the older woman are passing, the younger generation is coming in and taking more control of leadership roles. In some clubs, regular middle-class women and even some African American women are being invited in some of these once exclusive garden and literary clubs.

The L’Amitie Literary Club of Laurel, Mississippi was organized on October 24, 1946 and federated January 4, 1947. [5]

The Council of Garden Clubs of Laurel is now legally called the “Council of Garden Clubs of Laurel and Jones County Mississippi” and operates as a non-profit. This club participates in the Garden Clubs of Mississippi as the “Laurel Garden Club.” [6]


1 Folder : 302A.B1.A4

Language of Materials



Club Yearbooks.


This small collection consists of one folder.


Purchased by USM through Jennifer Brannock from Kaylene Behm, February and March 2013.

Related Materials

AM99-145 Original Home and Garden Club Collection

M163 Woman's Club of Hattiesburg

M409 Orpheus Club Records

M449 The Hattiesburg Review Club

M531 Hattiesburg Social and Service Club Yearbooks


[1] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopedia. "Club movement." Encyclopedia Britannica, September 19, 2018.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid

[5] L’Amitie Literary Club of Laurel, Mississippi. Self-published. 1963-1964.

[6] “Garden Clubs of Mississippi Club Directory.” Garden Club of Mississippi, May 13, 2021.

• Case File

• Contents from the collection

See EXTERNAL DOCUMENTS link for source links

Laurel Social and Service Club Yearbooks
Collection processed and finding aid written by Kimberly Rayborn
May 13, 2021
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001