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RG5069.AM:  Lotos Club (Lincoln, Neb.)

Records:  1884-1997

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska:  Women’s organization

Size:  1.0 cu.ft. and 3 reels of microfilm


The Lotos Club was organized on November 12, 1880, with seventeen charter members, and Mrs. John L. McConnell as President. The initial purpose of the club was to study Shakespeare, and it first took the name Avon Club in honor of his birthplace. The club had strong ties to the University of Nebraska: for the first two years, Professor George Woodbury, a teacher of English Literature, led the group in their weekly studies of a selected Shakespearean play. They expanded their interests into poetry and French, but a declining membership led the group to refocus on History and Literature in 1884. At that time a constitution was written and the name of the organization changed to the History Club. The stated aim of the group was “the intellectual and social development of its members.” It was not until 1890, after the members had been studying Egypt for four years, that the club was permanently named the Lotos Club.

Generally, a topic of study was chosen for a given year, and members contributed to the in-depth discussions and programs. Music and current events discussions were also an integral part of the group’s activities. Over the years, other interests such as gardening, crafts, and trips taken by members were added as topics for presentation at the meetings.

For many years, membership was limited to 12, but the limit was raised consistently until 1977, when it was set at 25. Lotos Club members have been active in the intellectual, artistic, and philanthropic life of Lincoln and Nebraska. Among other notables, famed author Bess Streeter Aldrich was a member and officer of the Club.

Throughout its long and rich history, the Lotos Club has been active both in community service and in international aid programs. During World War I the ladies sent money to aid women and children in Belgium. They wrapped bandages, sewed clothing for soldiers, and made surgical dressings. Each member donated $2 to the War Relief Fund. For several years the club sent money for the support of four-year-old Anna Seguin, a French orphan. World War II involved the club in similar activities. The members folded bandages, made clothing, and sent money to the British War Relief fund.

In more recent times, the club has supported causes and organizations such as the Literary Digest Child Feeding Fund, the American Humane Society, the School Milk Fund, the Social Welfare League, the Infantile Paralysis Drive, Cedars Home, KFOR Operation Santa Claus, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Friendship Home, and Goodwill.


This collection contains records relating to the history and activities of the Lotos Club. The materials are arranged in two Series: 1) Minutes, 1884-1993; and 2) Miscellaneous.

Note:  The original records are restricted for preservation. Researchers must use the microfilm copies.


Series 1 – Lotos Club Minutes, 1884-1993

Box 1


  1. Minutes, 1884-1891

  2. Minutes, 1891-1895

  3. Minutes, 1895-1903

  4. Minutes, 1903-1907

  5. Minutes, 1907-1910

  6. Minutes, 1910-1912

  7. Minutes, 1912-1917

  8. Minutes, 1917-1923

  9. Minutes, 1923-1934

  10. Minutes, 1935-1944

  11. Minutes, 1944-1959

  12. Minutes, 1959-1973

  13. Minutes, 1973-1993

Series 2 – Lotos Club Miscellaneous

Box 1


  1. Notebook of officers

  2. Club history and by-laws, list of members

On Microfilm:

Reel 1 (#28,018)

Series 1, Minutes, 1884-1931, pg. 189

Reel 2 (#28,019)

Series 1, Minutes, 1931, pg. 190 – 1983, pg. 161

Reel 3 (#28,021)

Series 1, Minutes, 1983, pg. 162 – Series 2, Miscellaneous


Subject headings:

Aldrich, Bess Streeter, 1881-1954

Lincoln (Neb.) — Clubs

Lincoln (Neb.) — Social life and customs

Lotos Club (Lincoln, Neb.)

Women — Nebraska — Lincoln


Revised 04-09-2008   TMM