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University of Alabama Glee Club Collection

Identifier: MSS-3645

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a collection of posters, placards, and other materials of the University of Alabama Glee Club from 1906-1936.


  • 1906-1936

Biographical / Historical

A glee club is a musical group or choir group, historically of male voices but also of female or mixed voices, which traditionally specializes in the singing of short songs — glees — by trios or quartets. In the late 19th Century it was very popular in most schools and was made a tradition to have in American High Schools from then on. The first named Glee Club was founded in Harrow School, in London, England, in 1787. Glee clubs were very popular in the UK from then until the mid-1850s but by that time, they were gradually being superseded by choral societies. By the mid-20th century, proper glee clubs were no longer common. However, the term remains in use, primarily for choirs found in North American colleges and universities, despite the fact that most American glee clubs are choruses in the traditional sense and no longer perform glees. Glee in this context does not refer to the mood of the music or of its singers, but to a specific form of English part song popular between 1650 and 1900, the glee.

The University of Alabama Glee Club was probably founded in the latter years of the 19th century, first under the leadership of Miss Annie Searcy (Mrs. Simpson Keller) and John Peter Ludebuehl. Then Tom Garner was tasked with getting together a "novel program" for Alumni Day in 1905. The event was a success - so much so that President John Abercrombie suggested Garner "take up the work regularly" in the 1906 academic year.


0.8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection of posters, placards, and other materials of the University of Alabama Glee Club


Gift of Mary Morgan Duggar Toulmin, 2001; gift of David Brennan, 2007; gift of Ronald and Elizabeth Howard, 2011


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Guide to the University of Alabama Glee Club Collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266