Chautauqua Institution


Self-improvement through lifelong learning was at the heart of the impulse that motivated Americans and founded Chautauqua in 1874. That tradition continues today through a variety of programs aimed at the exploration and exchange of ideas in an atmosphere that encourages civil discourse.

The morning lecture series is Chautauqua’s signature program, welcoming distinguished scientists, authors, educators and other experts in fields such as arts and humanities, foreign affairs and religion, to engage with Chautauqua audiences on matters that shape our world.

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC), the oldest continuous book club in America, introduced learning by correspondence and has enrolled over a half-million readers.

Today, CLSC books address critical and ethical issues of the day through a variety of genres, with an author presenting a different book each week of the summer season.

The Chautauqua Writers’ Center brings focus to writing as an art form with nationally recognized authors in residence offering workshops, readings and lectures, as well as an annual preseason Writers’ Festival, to writers at all levels of development.

Each season, Chautauqua Institution Archives also presents its Heritage Lecture Series, which combines the research of Archives staff with notable historians and Chautauqua scholars in order to explore the rich history of Chautauqua and its effect on American culture.

special studies header Web

2015 Course Proposal Form

Apply Online
Application Deadline: October 1, 2014.

More Information


Whatever educational experience you are seeking, Chautauqua’s Special Studies program continues to create distinct new learning opportunities for the 10,000 lifelong learners that enroll in courses each summer.

Make your next group tour destination Chautauqua Institution located in western New York.

Search Audio and eBooks

Search Our Card Catalog

Smith Memorial Public Library anchors the southern end of Bestor Plaza inside the grounds of Chautauqua Institution.

Search the Archives

The Chautauqua Institution Archives is both an Institution repository and a collection repository.