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Academic Associations

Employees of the State Library were also co-initiators when the Society of the Arts was founded at a meeting actually held in the Reading Room of the library in the spring of 1933. The reason behind this initiative was partly a desire for co-operation, not simply between the various subjects of the university, but also to attract those in the city doing research in the field of the arts, such as those who were academically active within the city's secondary schools, museums and private companies. Also professors of jurisprudence and economists could be accepted as members, for research in the arts was defined as "that research whose object is the person as an individual and the inherent society-related problems".

If the technical, scientific and medical researchers were thus excluded from the Society of the Arts, then, provided that they were judged worthy of admission by the sitting members, they could join Aarhus Society of Science and Letters, which was founded in 1945 to embrace all areas of academic work. Thus, for example, the Society of Science and Letters could accommodate an engineer from Aarhus Oil Mill who was involved in academic work. Initially the society had high ambitions, taking The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters as a role model, but it soon found its own realistic bearings, and the Society of Science and Letters carved its niche as an exclusive lecture society, with each of its members representing, in principle, the highest wisdom within their relevant academic fields. In contrast to the Society of the Arts, which began to stagnate in the 1970's and finally departed from this life with the death of its last chairman in the 1990's, the Society of Science and Letters is in robust health and holds six lecture and discussion meetings each year.


A meeting of The Society of the Arts on the 8th February 1939, held in the Mill Hall of The Old Town. Librarian E. Haugsted gave a lecture on "The Bishopric in Aarhus". Seated at the far end of the table is the chairman, Ad. Stender-Petersen. On his right are, respectively: Chr. Brodersen, G. Albeck, F. Blatt, J. Clausen, E. Frandsen, P. Holm, I. Henningsen, V. Grundtvig and S. Gundel. On his left are: Chr. Stub-Jørgensen, P. Skautrup, E. Sejr, J. Pedersen, O. Olesen and P. Krarup. (University History Committee).



The Society of Science and Letters on an excursion to Løvenholm on the 1st May 1960. (Photo Kirsten Albeck. University History Committee).