Clubs and societies have been in existence for social or other purposes since at least the 18th century. In the 19th century, clubs and societies were often set up with educational and philanthropic aims in mind. Today, they encourage innumerable activities and interests, which in turn has led to the creation of a wide range of records.
Clubs and societies are generally run by committees, so it is common to find administrative records such as a constitution, rules, minutes of meetings and annual reports. Depending on how the organisation was formed, there may also be corporate records including registers of directors and shares.
There will also be accounting records and membership records, which may include attendance and membership registers, members’ handbooks and subscription books.
Clubs and societies often have buildings for the exclusive use of members, which means there can be property records such as title deeds, property management committee minutes, asset and property registers, leases and agreements.
Other records result from the club or society’s particular objective; a music society might produce programmes of concerts, while a sporting organisation might keep score and results books. All may produce posters and other advertising material, as well as scrapbooks, photographs, video and audio recordings of their activities.
Page from the minute book of AGM and Committee meetings of Denmead Co-operative Allotments Society, 1917 to 1920, 29M66/2