Southern Sociological Congress

Identifier: MSS.0407

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The Southern Sociological Congress Photographic Collection, 1912-1920, contains eighty- nine pictures of participants and attendents of the annual meetings held by the organization. Most of the photographs identify individuals by name, but do not reveal whether the person spoke at a meeting or merely attended. Dates are also largely absent from many of the pictures. The photographs appear to have been collected by Maxwell H. Swain of Atlanta, Georgia who probably handled publicity for the meetings. Included in the collection is a program containing the text of a speech presented by Albert Johnson to the United States House of Representaives entitled liThe Cost of of the War in Men," which was given on Febuary 8, 1918.

The photographic collection most likely came to Vanderbilt through the efforts of Whitefoord R. Cole, a leading figure in the Southern Sociological Conference, who served as president of the Land N Railroad, president of the Vanderbilt Board of Trustees, and the secretary of Vanderbilt University.

The collection is contained in one box (one third cubic feet), divided into folders arranged alphabetically by individual, with unknown individuals grouped at the end.


  • 1912 - 1920

Historical Note

The Southern Sociological Congress (S.S. C.) operated from 1912-1920. The organization held annual meetings in various cities. The first meeting was held from May 7-10, 1912 in Nashville, TN, and was called to order by Governor Ben W. Hooper. Subsequent meetings held included: April 15- 18, 1913 in Atlanta, Georgia, May 10-14,1914 in Memphis, Tennessee, May8-11, 1915 in Houston, Texas, April 1916 in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1917 in Blue Ridge, April 14-21,1918 in Birmingham, Alabama, May 12-15,1919 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and 1920 in Washington. Presentations at meetings appear focused on issues concerning social problems, education, and public health.

Vanderbilt faculty members were very involved in the Southern Sociological Congress. Vanderbilt Board of Trustee member and secretary, Whitefoord R. Cole, served as the treasuer of the preliminary organizational group and remained as a member of the executive commitee of the S. S. C. until 1920. Mr. Cole also served on the planning committee for the first meeting of the S.S.C., along with sociology professor, Gustavus W. Dyer. Over half of the planning committee had close connections with Vanderbilt. The director of the Southern Sociological Congress from its inception was James E. McCullough (B. D., Vanderbilt, 1901).

At the New Orleans meeting held in April, 1916, a large number of delegates from Vanderbilt attended an alumni banquet at which Chancellor Kirkland was the guest of honor. Present were three members of the Board of Trust and a former student of every department in the university.

(The above information about the participation of Vanderbilt personnel in the Congresses is based upon the "Southern Sociological Congress, 1912-1920: The Development and Rationale of a Twentieth Century Crusade," a thesis written by E. Charles Chatfield, Jr., deposited in the V Collection.)


0.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Southern Sociological Congress Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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