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Southern Sociological Congress Photographic Collection

Historical Note

Whitefoord R. ColeThe Southern Sociological Congress (SSC) operated from 1912 to 1920. The organization held annual meetings in various cities. The first meeting was held from May 7-10, 1912 in Nashville, Tennessee 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; May 8-11, 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 Knoxsville, Tennessee; and 1920 in Washington. Presentations of meetings appear focused on issues concerning social problems, education, and public health.

Vanderbilt faculty members were very involved in the SSC. Vanderbilt Board of Trust member and secretary Whitefoord R. Cole served as the treasurer of the preliminary organizational group and remained as a member of the executive committee of the SSC until 1920. Mr. Cole also served on the planning committee for the first meeting of the SSC, along with sociology professor Gustavus W. Dyer. Over half of the planning committee had close connections with Vanderbilt. The director of the SSC 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.

Scope and Content Note

Ben W. HooperThe Southern Sociological Congress Photograph Collection, 1912-1920, contains 89 photographs of participants and attendees 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 Representatives entitled, "The Cost of the War in Men," which was given on February 8, 1918.

The photographic collection most likely came to Vanderbilt through the efforts of Whitefoord R. Cole, a leading figure in the SSC, who served as president of the L and 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 unidentified individuals grouped at the end.

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