Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chautauqua, a summer resort on Chautauqua Lake, near Lake Erie, in the extreme west of New York State, U.S., best known as the birthplace of an interesting educational experiment. On a ground previously used for Methodist camp-meetings, a "summer school for Sunday-school teachers "was started by Lewis Miller (a well-known inventor), and placed under the direction of Dr. John H. Vincent. (Besides lecture-halls and an amphitheatre, this ground includes a piece of land laid out, to scale, to represent the Holy Land.) In connection with this school, "home reading circles" were established, whose members follow certain prescribed courses of private reading, and which are affiliated to the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, whose headquarters are at Plainfield, New Jersey. The central office of the latter advises readers, and prescribes courses of reading, in science, history, and literature. Mathematics and modern languages are necessarily excluded as requiring viva voce teaching. A complete course takes four years, and entitles the student to a diploma. Some twenty-five per cent. of the students take it. About 25,000 students were on the books in 1885. The diplomas are granted at the annual "Recognition Day "festival, held at Chautauqua, and in several other states. The institution is now incorporated as a "university." "Home reading circles," in imitation, have recently been started in England.