University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia Libraries

Finding Aid for Sphinx Club Papers 1912- (UGA 03-029)

6.5 Linear Feet : two banker's boxes, three ms. boxes, two oversize boxes
Record Group 6: Student Affairs

Creator Note:

The Sphinx Club in the oldest honorary society at the University of Georgia, recognizing students, faculty, staff and alumni who have made significant contributions to the University, the State of Georgia and the nation. The society is believed to have evolved around 1897 from an earlier society, "yukpali", which was founded in December, 1896. Members are given sequential numbers as they are initiated, with sequential letter combinations being assigned to honorary members.

Scope and Contents:

The Sphinx papers fall into nine broad categories:

  • Minutes & membership records (Folders 1:1 - 1:8)
  • Correspondence & general financial notes (folders 1:9 - 1:34)
  • Dinner & reunion correspondence (folders 2:1 - 2:8)
  • Financial Information (folders 2:9 - 2:17)
  • Specific Subject Files (folders 2:18 - 2:23)
  • Photographs, Media & Artifacts (folders 2:24 - 3:1)
  • Ritual - RESTRICTED (folder 4:1)
  • Recent operational folders, 2000- (folders 5:1 - )
  • Oversized Biographical Sheets on Members (Boxes 6-7)

Of special interest is the biographical information found on some pages of the Sphinx Record (folder 1:2) and other membership information pages submitted over the years. Among these other biographical sources are pages from a disassembled book of biographies of all members created circa 1967 and found in boxes 6 and 7.

The correspondence and financial records of the 1920's were extracted from one letterbox and provide an interesting cross section of letterhead and receipts in the Athens business community of the time.

Pandora yearbooks from the early part of the 20th century often contain photographs from Sphinx initiations in which members appear in costume. This tradition continued as late as 1941, when the well known photo of Sphinx members mocking Governor Eugene Talmadge was taken (see the 1942 Pandora or Dr. Nash Boney's "Pictorial History of the University of Georgia", page 182). Several fascinating photographs of earlier skits appear in this collection (folder 2:26).

Modern media is represented by a series of three documentaries on the society, reproduced on DVD and located in folder 3:1.

At the request of the Sphinx membership, the rituals collected in box 4 can only be examined with their approval.

The recent operational folders secton, will be open for new annual additions.

Contents Inventory:

Box 1

  • 1:1 Sphinx Records Book, 1912-1924. (contains minutes for 1912-1924, membership log & financial notes from 1914-1919)
  • 1:2 Sphinx Record, 1897-1961 (membership log)
  • 1:3 Old membership lists
  • 1:4 Sphinx labels and addresses [ca 1991]
  • 1:5 Sphinx numerical [membership] lists [1996-2000] [& 1999 list of members with addresses & degrees]
  • 1:6 Membership lists, 7/13/03
  • 1:7 [Biographical Information Project, ca 1964]
  • 1:9 [Undated material, ca 1920-1928]
  • 1:10 [Financial note, 1920]
  • 1:11 [Correspondence & financial records, 1922]
  • 1:12 [Correspondence & financial records, 1923]
  • 1:13 [Correspondence & financial records, 1924]
  • 1:14 [Correspondence & financial records, 1925]
  • 1:15 [Correspondence & financial records, 1926]
  • 1:16 [Correspondence & financial records, 1927]
  • 1:17 [Correspondence & financial records, 1928] (includes materials relating to the introduction of the Sphinx certificate)
  • 1:18 Correspondence: Fall, 1938 - Spring, 1946
  • 1:19 Correspondence: Fall, 1946 - Spring, 1950 (includes letter from Frank Boland, class of 1897, regarding "yukpali" predecessor society to Sphinx)
  • 1:20 Correspondence: Fall, 1950 - Spring, 1954
  • 1:21 Correspondence: Fall, 1954 - Spring, 1958
  • 1:22 Correspondence: Fall, 1958 - Spring, 1959
  • 1:23 Correspondence: Fall, 1959 - Spring, 1961
  • 1:24 Correspondence: Fall, 1961 - Spring, 1963
  • 1:25 Correspondence: Fall, 1963 - Spring, 1964
  • 1:26 Correspondence: Fall, 1964 - Spring, 1965
  • 1:27 Correspondence: Fall, 1965 - Spring, 1967
  • 1:28 Correspondence: Fall, 1967 - Spring, 1968
  • 1:29 Correspondence: 1969 - 1969, Fall - Spring,
  • 1:30 Correspondence: Fall-Spring, 1969-1970
  • 1:31 Correspondence: Fall, 1971 - Spring, 1978
  • 1:32 Correspondence: 1978 - 1988
  • 1:33 Correspondence: 1989 - 1999
  • 1:34 Sphinx current correspondence [ca 1998]

Box 2

  • 2:1 Sphinx reunion 1963 (correspondence, news clippings & financial notes)
  • 2:2 Early reunion correspondence [ca 1984]
  • 2:3 Sphinx reunion correspondence [and photographs. 1984 - 1985]
  • 2:4 Sphinx reunion - 1989
  • 2:5 Sphinx luncheon, November 1991
  • 2:6 Sphinx reunion - May 3, 1996
  • 2:7 Sphinx reunion '96 (includes photograph of custom-made Sphinx pin & photographs of Sphinx Plaza at Ohio State University)
  • 2:8 Sphinx 1997 dinner & campaign
  • 2:9 Receipt book, 1924
  • 2:10 Sphinx society, receipts & expenditures [1950-1967]
  • 2:11 Sphinx check register, 1967-1981
  • 2:12 Bank statements [1982 - 1986]
  • 2:13 Foundation account #SR593 - other income - 50-R3930 [1985 - 2001]
  • 2:14 Foundation Acct #SR593, 1985-2001
  • 2:15 Foundation Acct - status reports [1991 - 1996]
  • 2:16 Foundation Acct #SR593 - agreement [1984]
  • 2:17 Student activities registration [ 1984 - 2000]
  • 2:18 Sphinx charm [correspondence ca 1973]
  • 2:19 Undated items & William Tate column on history of Sphinx, Athens Observer, 12/17/77
  • 2:20 Sphinx members - [Biographical] information [news clippings]
  • 2:21 Alfred O. Halsey [biographical information]
  • 2:22 Jasper Dorsey [biographical information]
  • 2:23 Sphinx at Ohio State University [information about society of same name as UGA's - see also photographs in folder 2:7]
  • 2:24 Sphinx certificates [ca 1920's]
  • 2:25 Sphinx pin [ca 2003]
  • 2:26 Photographs of Sphinx skits, 1920's
  • 2:27 Photographs of Sphinx groups, ca 1990 through 2002
  • 2:28 Initiation blindfolds

Box 3

3:1 Five documentaries on DVD: "The Sphinx Club: The Early Years", "The Sphinx Club: The Counter Culture Years", "The Sphinx Club: How Sphinx Responded to Change", "The Athletes in Sphinx" and "For the Future".

Box 4

4:1 The Sphinx Ritual (Restricted to examination by Sphinx approval only)

Box 5

  • 5:1 Sphinx 2000
  • 5:2 Sphinx Peter's Files [Peter Shedd files, c 2000}
  • 5:3 Sphinx 2001
  • 5:4 Sphinx 2002
  • 5:5 Sphinx Videotaping 2002
  • 5:6 Sphinx 2003
  • 5:7 Sphinx Videotaping 2003
  • 5:8 Sphinx 2004
  • 5:9 Sphinx Videotaping 2004
  • 5:10 Sphinx 2005
  • 5:11 Sphinx 2006 [inc ludes photographs of intiation of Charlayne Hunter-Gault.]
  • 5:12 Sphinx Student-Centered Garden [Proposal & Design, 1995-2001]
  • 5:13 Jasper Dorsey Award, 2000-2002
  • 5:14 Sphinx 2007

Box 6 (oversized) : Biography Sheets for Student Members 1-478 (1967)

Box 7 (oversized) : Biography Sheets for Honorary Members A-WZ and Boards from Original Binding

Processed by Steven Brown and Carol Bishop