Skip to main content

Outlook Club Collection

Identifier: UAC/14/2017.a001

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection are composed of 7 boxes. The 7th box within the collection consists of duplicate copies of the Outlook Club's yearbooks and is not listed in ArchiveSpace.

Box 1: Outlook Club Financial Records.

Box 2: Outlook Club folders; which contain materials pertaining to the club's centennial year, history booklets, the club's publications (newsletter), and materials found in the club's scrapbook.

Box 3: Outlook Club Scrapbook Cover.

Box 4: Outlook Club Sign-In Sheets.

Box 5: Outlook Club Yearbooks, 1889-1951.

Box 6: Outlook Club Yearbooks, 1951 -


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980 - 2022

Conditions Governing Use

The materials represented in this finding aid have been made available for research, teaching and private use. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) these items without prior permission on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies.

Please contact the Newton Gresham Library's Special Collections and University Archives department to request permissions to reproduce materials for any other purpose, or to obtain information regarding the copyright status of a particular digital image, text, audio or video recording.

Biographical / Historical

The Chautauqua Club of Huntsville, Texas grew out of the Chautauqua Club from Chautauqua Lake, New York. The Chautauqua Club of Huntsville was organized in 1890. Based on the Chautauqua Movement founded in 1874, its objective was to spread knowledge and information for the benefit of adults. The movement formulated institutions and lyceums for continuing education through lectures, concerts, and other artistic and educational activities.

In 1890, Sue Smither (later Mrs. Ed Allen) and Lillian Otey (later Mrs. McGary) visited the Chautauqua Club in New York. They deceided to bring the club to Huntsville to bring "new ideas, more sophistication, and more variety into the community's intellectural life" (Centennial Celebration The Outlook Club 1990-91).

In 1898, the Chautauqua Club of Huntsville became the Ladies Reading Club where they mostly studied Shakespeare. Often being called the Shakespeare Club. In 1902, the Ladies Reading Club became The Outlook Club after two members, Sue Smither and Lillian Otey went back to Chautauqua Lake, New York and heard the word outlook being definded as the search after knowledge.

The club consisted of 20 members, now 25 where they meet weekly (Thursdays at 4pm) from the months of October to May. New members are accepted only when there is a vacancy. A current member will need to propose a name to fill the vacancy which will then be sent to the chairman of the Membership Committee. If a member wishes to resign they will need to provide a written letter of resignation to the president. Members who resign and contiune to reside in the Huntsville area become Honorary Members and are welcome to attend any of the club's meeetings. Regular attendance is expected of the 25 active members. 3 consecutive absences from an active member without a reasonable excuse is considered a resignation.

Each meeting the members would review a book, calling them "reviews." One member for each meeting would lead the discussion and were called "leads" during the 1890-1910 period. Today, members are required to give a 45 to 60 minute review over her chosen book from a list that has been compiled for that year's theme. The point of the reviews aligns with the club's goal, to search for knowledge. Each year a theme is chosen in regards to the books that will be read. Some past themes were "A Reading Journey through Italy, Greece, and Switerland" (1902-103), "Tennyson" (1904-1905), "Shelley, Ruskin, and Browning" (1905-1906), and "The Short Story" (1915-1916).

The Outlook Club first held their meetings in the old public school but then moved to the First Presbyterian and First Methodist churches after the school burned down. Then later moved their meetings to the Huntsville Public Library and the Flag Room of the First National Bank. Now, the Outlook Club holds their meetings in a different member's house for each gathering.

The Outlook Club has kept scrapbooks throughout the years. The Historian of the club would be in charge of creating the scrapbooks. From 1919-1974 Adele Underwood was in charge, followed by Dr. Anna Powell, then Ms. Loyce Adams in 1990-1991. Many of the scrapbooks are housed in the Huntsville Public Library.

The Outlook Club's motto is "to be, rather than to seem." Their colors are gold and white.


7 boxes (The 7th box within the collection consists of duplicate copies of the Outlook Club's yearbooks. )

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by content.

Physical Location

Located in the University Archives, 400. Newton Gresham Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials of the Outlook Club Collection have been donated by Dorothy Thomason Cole, a former member and president of the club.

Box 4: "Outlook Club Sign-In Sheets," has been donated by Joan Culp, a member and past vice president as well as president of the club.

Outlook Club Collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Thomason Special Collections & SHSU University Archives Repository

1830 Bobby K. Marks Drive
Huntsville TX 77341 US