Skip to main content

Glee Club/Choral Society records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-14-010

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Glee Club range in date from 1889 to 2022. However, there are few records dating before 1970, these consisting mostly of programs and tickets from pre-1970 concerts. The records from 1970 to 1983 are thorough and deal with many aspects of the Glee Club. Administrative records include constitutions, budgets, correspondence, minutes, audition forms and membership lists. There are also various types of publicity materials including posters, programs, tickets and invitations to concerts. The collection also includes archived versions of the Glee Club's website and Facebook page from 2015-2020, photographs, and music albums recorded by the group from 1951-2001.


  • Creation: 1889 - 2022


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. The CDs in this collection have been digitized and are available to access upon request. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.


One of the oldest activities on campus, the Glee Club was founded in 1883 by a group of students including Woodrow Wilson. Other well- known members of the Glee Club have been Newton Baker, Wilson's Secretary of War; Albert Shaw, editor of Review of Reviews and Governor of Puerto Rico; Albert Ritchie, Governor of Maryland; and Joseph Ames, President of the University from 1929 to 1935. The Glee Club gave its first concert on February 14, 1884.

The Glee Club, or Musical Club as it came to be known, went through many changes in structure beginning with the addition of a Banjo Club in 1888. These changes were often short-lived and are too numerous to recount in detail, but can be explained as follows: the group's popularity grew and a Mandolin Club was added in the 1890s as well as an orchestra in the early 1900s, a Hawaiian Troupe in 1927 and various trios, quartets, quintets and soloists. After World War II, only the Blue Jay Orchestra and the Glee Club existed and by the early 1950s these groups had become separate entities. In 1972, the Glee Club merged with the Goucher Chorus in order to allow newly-admitted Hopkins women a place in the group. It was not until the late 1970s that the group became an integrated coed glee club.

Traditions run strong in the Glee Club. The group customarily travels beyond Hopkins and sometimes even beyond Baltimore to give concerts. Tours to such places as Atlantic City, New York, Bermuda and even Poland have long been popular, as were concerts given at women's colleges such as Goucher and Hood before the club became coed. The group traditionally performs at Commemoration Day exercises. The Glee Club has experienced a steady decline in membership and in 1985 its name was changed to the Choral Society.


2.01 Cubic Feet (1 record center carton, 2 letter size document boxes)

0.242 Gigabytes (Disks RG-14-010_001-005) : Sound recordings

3 Website(s)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into three series: Series 1: Administrative records, photographs, and publicity materials; Series 2: Recorded music; Series 3: Websites.


Recordings of the Glee Club were given to the Archives by Osmar Steinwald, B.S. 1928, Director of Alumni Relations 1947-1970; Stanley Blumberg, B.A. 1935, Director of Alumni Relations 1970-1983; and Edwin A. Quist, Jr., Peabody Librarian. The oldest Glee Club records were removed from scrapbooks found in Gilman storage. More recent records were given to the Archives in 1983 by Suzanne Zorn, President of the Glee Club. Glee Club CDs and the audiocassette were transferred to the Archives by Laura Stott, Executive Director of Student Engagement, in May 2021. The Glee Club websites were archived by the University Archives between 2015-2020.

Accession Number

79.73, 79.128, 83.12, 87.14, 2022-23.RG.14.010.001

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Sean DiGiovanna and Katrina Tautz. An accrual including websites and recorded music was added to the collection by Kristen Diehl in 2023. The collection was rearranged into three series at that time.

Guide to the Glee Club/Choral Society records
Kristen Diehl
Updated in 2023 March
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA