THE THURSDAY READING CLASS 130th ANNIVERSARY- Exhibition at the Nyack Library
From August 1st through September 28th 2018, an exhibition of pamphlets, photographs, and letters from the archives of the “Thursday Reading Class” will be on view in the display cases at the Nyack Library Carnegie-Farian Room. Open during library hours at 59 N. Broadway, Nyack, New York 10960.
On January 13, 1891, at a special meeting of the members of the Nyack Ladies Reading Class, a resolution was offered and adopted to form a literary club.
In May 1895, the Nyack Evening Journal reported: “At an afternoon tea in the spring of 1887 some ladies were discussing over the teacups the subject of women’s literary clubs and the pleasure and profit derived from the interchange of thought among the members.”
And so, the idea of a women’s literary club, the “Thursday Reading Class,” had become a reality, where discussions of current literature, readings of Shakespeare, and lectures by outside speakers were taking place in members’ homes on a regular basis.
Women for the most part at the turn of the 20th century were stay-at-home mothers with young children. Members drove to meetings in horse-drawn carts, walked, or perhaps bicycled. By 1904, members were delighted to purchase and present to the Nyack Library the large clock that still hangs over the fireplace in the Carnegie-Farian Room.
In 2017, the “Thursday Reading Class” celebrated its 130th anniversary. Members today come from all walks of life. They have held responsible positions in the educational, scientific, industrial, and social science fields. Meetings are still held at each other’s homes and tea is still served after the program.
Through the more than 130 years of its existence, the readings of the Thursday Reading Class have represented a microcosm of women’s interests in international thought and literature.