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The Club of Odd Volumes is a private social club and society of bibliophiles founded in 1887, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The Club of Odd Volumes
77 MtVernonSt Boston 2010 f2.jpg
77 Mt. Vernon Street
The Club of Odd Volumes is located in Boston
The Club of Odd Volumes
General information
LocationBeacon Hill
Address77 Mt. Vernon Street
Town or cityBoston
CountryUnited States
Coordinates42°21′30″N 71°04′01″W / 42.358458°N 71.067054°W / 42.358458; -71.067054



The club was founded on January 29, 1887, with the following intention:

The objects shall be to promote an interest in, and a love for whatever will tend to make literature attractive as given in the form of printed and illustrated volumes, to mutally assist in making researches and collections of first and rare editions, and to promote elegance in the production of Odd Volumes.[1]

The term odd, as used in the club's name, is an eighteenth-century usage meaning varied or unmatched.

The Sette of Odd Volumes, an English bibliophile dining-club founded in 1878, is considered the inspiration for the organization. An early pamphlet of this Boston organization is titled Ye Sette of Odd Volumes.[2][nb 1]

The club began primarily as a dinner club, complementing established social clubs like the Somerset Club, Algonquin Club, and Harvard Club.[4][5] The group conducts lectures, meets for dinner, collects fine books and develop literary exhibits.[6]

The club has hosted authors, book designers, artists, politicians and printers.[citation needed]


The club has been at 77 Mt. Vernon Street in Beacon Hill since 1936. The building was the home of Sarah Wyman Whitman. Prior to 1936, it owned the buildings at 50, 52 and 54 Mt. Vernon Street.[6]

Library and publicationsEdit

Between its founding and 1900, the club expanded its membership and activities to include an active exhibition and publishing program as well as the maintenance of a library. Members in the Club of Odd Volumes, currently limited to a maximum of 87, are often associated with Boston's universities, museums and libraries. They often include rare and antiquarian book collectors, curators, scholars, printers and typophiles. The club continues to offer exhibitions on a wide variety of themes, including the printing arts, typography and antiquarian books.[citation needed]

The club has a substantial library of antiquarian books and an archive of letterpress printing.[citation needed]

The collection, only accessible by club members, has about 2,200 titles.[7]


Published about themselves
  • Club of Odd Volumes (1889). Annual Exhibition.
  • —— (1904). Constitution and By-laws with a List of the Officers and Members: April 1904.
  • —— (1915). Year Book. s.n.
  • Worthington Chauncey Ford; —— (1917). The Boston book market, 1679-1700. The Club of Odd volumes.
  • George Emery Littlefield (1907). The Early Massachusetts Press, 1638-1711. The Club of Odd Volumes.
Works of authors and poets

The following is a short selection of published works:

Notable membersEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The archives of the Sette of Odd Volumes are now at Cambridge University Library.[3]


  1. ^ Percival Merritt (1915). "The Club of Odd Volumes". The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. The Society. pp. 21–22. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  2. ^ Percival Merritt (1915). "The Club of Odd Volumes". The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. The Society. p. 23. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  3. ^ Sette of Odd Volumes. Cambridge University Library.
  4. ^ Club of Odd Volumes (1915). Year Book. s.n. p. 53. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  5. ^ Percival Merritt (1915). "The Club of Odd Volumes". The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. The Society. p. 25. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b May Melvin Petronella (11 August 2004). Victorian Boston today: twelve walking tours. UPNE. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-55553-605-3. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  7. ^ David H Stam (2001). International dictionary of library histories. Taylor & Francis. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-57958-244-9. Retrieved 28 April 2013.