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Black Masque Honor Society Records
MSS.2010.12.01  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • San Jose State University Student Memorabilia Collection
  • San José State University Scrapbook Collection
  • Preferred Citation
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Black Masque Honor Society Records
    Creator: Black Masque Honor Society
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2010.12.01
    Physical Description: 15 boxes 5.75 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1957-2013
    Date (bulk): 1965-1985
    Abstract: The Black Masque Society Records document the history of the San Jose State University’s Black Masque Honor Society, alumni, and reunion activities from 1957 to 2013. The collection materials consist of the adminstrative records, correspondence, negatives, memorabilia, and scrapbooks with photographs, newsclippings, and announcements.
    Physical Location: Vault 1, Range 28A, Bay 17

    Biographical / Historical

    The Black Masque Honor Society formed in 1930 as a secret senior women’s honorary student organization. In 1930 Gladys Aitken, a senior at San Jose State Teachers College, attended a convention of Associated Women Students and was first introduced to the Mortar Board, a national society honoring senior women for both scholarship and leadership. Influenced by the convention, Aitken proposed San Jose State establish its own organization similar to Mortar Board and the Dean of Women, Helen Dimmick, shared her enthusiasm and together outlined the provisional society called The Mystic 13. By 1931 member qualifications were chosen and a constitution written which entailed members to wear black robes and black masks for initiation, leading to the official name of the group—Black Masque. Each year thirteen women were invited for membership at the end of their junior year on the basis of their leadership and service to the university and would become active members their senior year. The group would convene for community outreach, fellowship, and annual reunions. The Black Masque Alumni Council was established in 1943 and continues to actively work with the campus society. In 1977 men were allowed admittance. Black Masque remains an active, albeit an exclusively nomination only, honor society of San Jose State University.

    Scope and Contents

    The Black Masque Society Records contain the administrative records, scrapbooks, and memorabilia documenting the San Jose State University Black Masque Honor Society, alumni committee, and reunion activities from 1957 to 2013. The collection consists of the Black Masque constitution, by-laws, agendas, negatives, printed material, audiovisual, and other object memorabilia of the society and its alumni. The bulk of the collection consists of scrapbooks, which include photographs, news clippings, and event announcements.

    San Jose State University Student Memorabilia Collection

    San José State University Student Organization Records, MSS-2009-03-09, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    San José State University Scrapbook Collection

    San José State University Scrapbook Collection, MSS-2010-03-04, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Black Masque Honor Society Records, MSS-2010-12-01, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into four series: Series I. Organizational Records and Related Materials, 1965-2013; Series II. Scrapbooks, Photographic, and Audiovisual Materials (1958-2010); Series III. Printed Material; Series IV. Miscellaneous Materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    California State University, San José -- History.
    San Jose State University-- History
    Students -- Social life and customs
    Students -- Societies
    Women -- Societies and clubs
    Black Masque Honor Society
    Black Masque Honor Society