Federation of the Dutch Lyceum Clubs

The Federation of the Dutch Lyceum Clubs was founded on 10th September 1930 with the objective of serving the interests of the Lyceum Clubs in the Netherlands and of representing their members at the International Association of Lyceum Clubs, the IALC.  The Federation is composed of the three Dutch clubs, Amsterdam (de Nederlandse Vrouwenclub/Lyceumclub Amsterdam) founded in 1923, Nijmegen (de Nijmeegse Vrouwenclub in Lyceumverband) founded in 1925 and Groningen (de Groningsche Vrouwenclub International Lyceumclub) founded in 1929.  Contact between the members of the three clubs is promoted by an annual  ‘Contact Day’ organised in turn by one of the three clubs.  The Federation and the Council of the Federation meet twice yearly in Zwolle.  

The Council of the Federation is composed of members of the three Dutch Lyceum Clubs.  The President of the Federation represents the Dutch federation at the annual meeting of the BCI, the ‘Bureau Central International’. 

The Federation Board is made up of: 
Madeleine van der Vlist-Diehlpresident (ILC Groningen)      
Gerdien Auf dem Brinke-Edelkoortvice-president (ILC Amsterdam)          
Cordelia Davies-Blackburnsecretary  (ILC Amsterdam)   
Henny Nijenhuis-Koomantreasurer  (ILC Groningen)    
Marianne van de Kamp-Struikmember  (ILC Nijmegen)

Constance Smedley

The first Lyceum club was established in 1903 in London by Constance Smedley.  She probably took as her example the male clubs where men of good family could meet and also share a drink or dine together.  A year after its founding the Lyceum club counted 1500 members.  Her aim of a worldwide movement rapidly caught on.  Within a couple of years clubs had been founded in Berlin (1905), Paris (1906), Hamburg (1906 and Florence (1908). 

On 6th February 1932 the following clubs became members of the Federation: LC Groningen, LC Leeuwarden and LC Arnhem.  Previously, the LC’s in the Hague, Amsterdam and Nijmegen had joined the Federation.  In 1932 Dordrecht was also mentioned as a possible member. After 1945 the Federation consisted of the Amsterdam, Nijmegen, the Hague, Arnhem and Groningen clubs. Sadly the club in Leeuwarden had been disbanded.

The current Dutch clubs (Amsterdam, Groningen and Nijmegen) have as their aim the bringing together, on neutral ground, of women with an interest in the arts, science and social welfare and  thereby contributing to better mutual understanding and friendship.

Drawn up: Nijmegen 18th September 1930

In May 2004 when the International Association of Lyceum Clubs celebrated its centenary in Basel, Dr Grace Ellen Brockington, lecturer at the University of Bristol, UK (and philosopher and playwright), delivered a lecture, ‘A World Fellowship’, the founding of the International Lyceum Club.
She describes her work as follows: 
I am a specialist in modern British art, with a particular interest in the connection between art and theatre, internationalism and literature. My work has been supported by 
– a Philip Leverhulme Prize      
an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and 
– a Visiting Scholarship at the Yale Centre for British Art                                                                                                                                                           

During one of her investigations Grace comes into contact with Constance Smedley’s history and decides to investigate Constance further.

To celebrate the 18th lustrum (5years) of the Groningen club, 4th June 2019, Marion van Assendelft and Anneke Renkema wrote a book about Constance Smedley and about the history of the origin of the Dutch Lyceum clubs.