The Quill Club was a student organization formed in 1928 to encourage and stimulate interest in writing and literature among the students at UND. Membership was open to any student at the University of North Dakota, and interested persons were required to submit a writing sample, which could consist of a story, poem, or any other form of literature. This required submission indicated that membership was very selective; in 1928, only five out of a total of 31 students who sought membership were granted it.
The Shaft, UND’s first literary magazine in 1935, was published by members of the Quill Club, and was devoted to the contemporary thought and writing of the students on campus. All students were invited to submit material, and the members of the Quill Club were responsible for selecting and editing the articles published in the magazine. Articles in the magazine were published on an annual basis from 1935-1938, when the Quill Club officially ended.
This particular collection includes four editions of the literary magazine, published from 1935 to 1938. Each issue was published in the spring, containing prose, poetry, illustrations, and advertising, and was approximately 30 pages in length. Also included is one letter written from Robert Nathan to Sam Silverman, business manager for The Shaft from 1935 to 1936. The letter regards a book review of Nathan’s Road of Ages which appeared in the 1935 edition of The Shaft.
The collection also contains some of the earliest work of Thomas McGrath, the famed North Dakota poet. McGrath was an active member of the Quill Club and contributed works to The Shaft in 1936, 1937, and 1938. He also served on the editorial board in 1937, and was the club’s president in 1938.