Skip to main content

Theta Nu Epsilon

Identifier: MSS-1394

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a yearbook, The Sophomore 1928-1929, for Wesleyan University in Middleton Connecticut. The collection also includes Skulls membership lists for 1916 and 1919, which is labeled as a dance committee. Copies of the original 1870 code of ethics, as well as a letter from Secretary MacDonald Leech, October 8, 1932, legalizing Theta Nu on the University of Alabama campus as a fraternal organization. There are also newspapers, including The Alabama Chronicle (1983), The Crimson White (1991), and Esquire (1992), covering the influence, news, and history of the organization that became known as "The Machine". The collection also has the original certificate of organization of Theta Nu Epsilon on the University of Alabama campus.


  • 1916-1990s

Biographical / Historical

Theta Nu Epsilon, also known as the Skull and Bones, began at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut. Expanding along the United States, University of Alabama became a part of the organization in 1905, later more commonly known as "the Machine" in 1945. Always known as a secret fraternal society, their reputation was exposed in 1983 when The Crimson White published an article that the "Machine" group is still at work. Esquire magazine wrote an expose on the the Machine in 1992.


0.03 Linear Feet (9 items,12 pieces)

Language of Materials



Yearbooks and articles about the Theta Nu Epsilon fraternal organization.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ben Treadwell, June 1988; additions from unknown sources since 1988


To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.
Guide to the Theta Nu Epsilon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266