About Us

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle or CLSC it’s common acronym traces it’s roots to the Chautauqua Institution in 1878. The CLSC was a pioneer in adult home study movement by providing a quality reading program, which has reached out to thousands of readers over the years. The graduation of the “Pioneer” class of 1882 began a long tradition of individuals interested in life long learning joining a CLSC class and completing a four year reading degree program. In August the “ Class of 2009” was the 127th successive  class to graduate during the Recognition  Day ceremony held in the Hall of Philosophy and Alumni Hall, at Chautauqua.

The Guild of Seven Seals 
is the graduate degree of the
CLSC.  The Guild of the Seven Seals held a  preliminary meeting on Recognition Day in 1886, with a formal founding date of
August 19, 1887.  Their are four levels of reading accomplishment within the Guild. The first is membership in the “Guild of Seven Seals”, followed by Parnassian, Olympian and Centurion achievement levels. Guild members meet during the Chautauqua season. The sharing reading experiences and book titles is an on going affair both in person during the season and on the blog all year long. The Guild also reviews books under consideration for inclusion in the annual CLSC reading list and makes recommendations. The "Guild" operates under the umbrella of the Alumni Association.


 The CLSC Alumni Association was incorporated in 1893 to provide an organization that encourages CLSC graduates to continue reading and study. It occupies the first and part of the second floors of Alumni Hall and maintains the valuable banners and artifacts contained in that building and in Pioneer Hall. The Alumni Association serves to support the many CLSC programs. Some activities and programs conducted by the Alumni Association include Brown Bag luncheons/Book Reviews and Eventide programs. It is also the parent organization for the graduated classes. Many of these classes have been active for several decades or more.