In the late 1800s, life in a small university town did not offer many opportunities for artistic and cultural pursuits. In winter 1894, two women, Mrs. David Felmley and Mrs. J.M. Gray, both of Normal, invited a group of women interested in meeting regularly for a program of study to meet at the home of Mrs. R. G. Bright, 603 Broadway, Normal. Here the Normal History Club was formally organized on February 10, 1894 with Mrs. Felmley as president, Miss McCann as vice-president, and Mrs. Bright as secretary. The first topic chosen for study was English History. In 1896 meetings changed to Friday afternoons twice a month, a schedule still followed. At the beginning of its 94th year, the Normal History Club with 25 active and 7 honorary members continues to adhere closely to the purpose for which it was organized – mutual improvement through a program of study. Adapted from “Bloomington-Normal's Literary History, 1879-1987”
This collection includes annual program booklets from 1949-1988, research papers presented during the 1963-64 year, and miscellaneous ephemera. Annual program booklets include planned activities and topics plus member lists with contact information. Research papers for 1963-64 focused on McLean County history.