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Phi Beta Kappa. Delta of Pennsylvania Records

UPS 43.4

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center
Creator:
Phi Beta Kappa. Delta of Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania).
Title:
Phi Beta Kappa. Delta of Pennsylvania Records
Date [bulk]:
1935-1968
Date [inclusive]:
1898-1972
Call Number:
UPS 43.4
Extent:
6 Cubic feet
Language:
English
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest undergraduate honor society in the United States. The first chapter was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (Alpha of Virginia), followed by chapters at Yale (Alpha of Connecticut) in 1780 and Harvard (Alpha of Massachusetts) in 1781. The purpose of Phi Beta Kappa was to encourage academic achievement and a lifelong pursuit of learning. The name Phi Beta Kappa comes from the Greek phrase Φιλοσοφια Βιου Κυβερνητης (Philosophia Biou Cybernētēs) meaning "the love of wisdom is the guide of life." Early Phi Beta Kappa displayed many attributes that would in time come to be considered hallmarks of modern-day Greek letter fraternities – use of a Greek motto, governing rules for its members, initiation rituals for new members, and an oath of secrecy. Early Phi Beta Kappa also displayed characteristics of a traditional debating or literary society. However, during a wave of anti-secret society sentiment in 1830s America, chapters abandoned their secrecy oaths and focused solely on functioning as a scholastic honor society.

The origins of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Pennsylvania can be traced back to 1892 and George Egbert Fisher, a Professor of Mathematics (and later Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences), who had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a student at Cornell University. Professor Fisher submitted a charter for a University of Pennsylvania chapter to the Council of the United Chapters which was granted in September 1892. Following the established naming convention for new chapters, as the fourth chapter founded in Pennsylvania, the chapter at the University of Pennsylvania was called Delta of Pennsylvania. The initial membership consisted of members of University of Pennsylvania faculty who likely would have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa had they been alumni of institutions that had a chapter. At the end of the 1892-93 academic year the initial members elected the most academically gifted members of the departing senior class, a select few from the junior class, and a handful of honorary members. In 1935 a section for the College of Liberal Arts for Women was established. These were not separate chapters, as spelled out in the Delta of Pennsylvania's constitution and by-laws at the time, though the two sections did have their own officers, conducted independent elections, had separate finances, and maintained a separate correspondence with the United Chapters.

Scope and Contents

The records of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Pennsylvania document the activities of the national honor society's chapter at the University of Pennsylvania mostly from the mid-1930s to the late-1960s. The documentation consists of correspondence, election results, handbooks, member lists, and reports. Similar material also exists for Delta of Pennsylvania's Women's Section.

There is some material generated under the auspices of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, the central and governing body of Phi Beta Kappa. This includes chapter manuals, constitution and by-laws, mailings to chapters, and significant runs of the Phi Beta Kappa Bulletin, distributed amongst chapter officers, and the  Phi Beta Kappa Key, the United Chapters’ quarterly publication for news.

Some documentation of other Phi Beta Kappa chapters exists, which is mostly chapter handbooks and member directories.

ARRANGEMENT

The records of Phi Beta Kappa are organized into four series - Delta of Pennsylvania; Delta of Pennsylvania, Women's Section; United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa; and Other Phi Beta Kappa Chapters - each of which are arranged alphabetically.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center,  August 2014

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Timothy H. Horning

Access Restrictions

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

PROVENANCE

The records of Phi Beta Kappa were donated to the University Archives in 1968 (accession number 68/4), 1975 (accession number 75-5) and 2014 (accession number 2014:23).

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Controlled Access Headings

Occupation(s)
  • University of Pennsylvania--Students.
Personal Name(s)
  • Albrecht, Otto Edwin, 1899-1984
  • Brownlee, Rebecca Jean, 1912-1995
Subject(s)
  • Greek letter societies--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • University of Pennsylvania--Societies, etc.

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Collection Inventory

Delta of Pennsylvania.

Box Folder

Address Service, 1958-1960.

1 1

Annual Reports to United Chapters, 1932-1962.

1 2

Associate Members, 1938.

1 3

Balfour Company, 1954-1957.

1 4

Bank Information, 1936-1954.

1 5

Candidate Lists, 1931-1961.

1 6

Carnegie Foundation Test, 1928.

1 7

Certificates, 1954-1961.

1 8

College for Women, 1934-1942.

1 9

Constitution and By-Laws, 1925-1935, n.d.

1 10

Constitution and List of Members, 1902.

1 11

Correspondence.

Box Folder

1898-1908.

1 12

1909-1913.

1 13

1914-1915.

1 14

1916-1917.

1 15

1918-1919.

1 16

1920-1921.

1 17

1922-1923.

1 18

1924-1925.

1 19

1926-1936.

1 20

1937-1947.

1 21

1961-1973.

1 23

n.d.

1 24
Box Folder

District Meetings, 1928-1960.

1 25

Elections.

Box Folder

1907-1910.

1 26

1910-1913.

1 27

1913-1914.

1 28

1914-1918.

1 29

1918-1919.

1 30

1919-1923.

1 31

1924-1962.

1 32

n.d.

1 33

Honorary, 1902-1925.

1 34
Box Folder

Electoral Board, 1934-1961.

1 35

Elmaleh Prize, 1945-1960.

1 36

Faculty, 1955-1961.

1 37

History of Delta of Pennsylvania Chapter, 1909.

1 38

Honorary Members, 1927-1960.

1 39

Initiations for Other Chapters, 1926-1955.

2 1

Installation of a Section in the College of Liberal Arts for Women, 1935.

2 2

Library, 1935-1960.

2 3

Life Members, 1941-1944.

2 4

Mailing Lists, 1934-1945.

2 5

Meeting Announcements, 1927-1960.

2 6

Member List, c. 1898.

2 7

Member List, 1904.

2 8

Member List, 1920.

2 9

Minutes, 1923-1930.

2 10

Necrology, 1929-1962.

2 11

Permanent Organization Election Laws, 1944-1945.

2 12

Phi Beta Kappa Association of Philadelphia, 1917-1937.

2 13

Phi Beta Kappa Award, 1928.

2 14

Proposed By-Laws, n.d.

2 15

Scholarship Conference, 1928.

2 16

Secretary's Reports, 1902-1914.

2 17

Treasurer's Book, 1947.

2 18

Treasurer's Reports, 1902-1913.

2 19

Treasurer's Reports, 1926-1938.

2 20

Treasurer's Reports, 1944-1946, 1949, 1955-1960, 1965.

2 21

Triennial Councils, 1931-1958.

2 22

Visiting Scholar Program, 1957-1963.

2 24

Delta of Pennsylvania, Women's Section.

Box Folder

Annual Reports to United Chapters, 1935-1964.

2 25

By-Laws, 1935-1965.

2 26

Charter Members, 1935.

2 27

Correspondence.

Box Folder

1935.

2 28

1936-1940.

2 29

1941-1963.

2 30

Carl Billman, 1958-1962.

2 31

Speakers, 1937-1941.

2 32

Elections.

Box Folder

Spring 1935.

2 33

Fall 1935.

2 34

Spring 1936.

2 35

Fall 1936.

2 36

Spring 1937.

2 37

Spring 1938.

2 38

Fall 1938.

2 39

Spring 1939.

2 40

Fall 1939.

2 41

Spring 1940.

2 42

Fall 1940.

2 43

Spring 1941.

2 44

Fall 1941.

2 45

Spring 1942.

2 46

Fall 1942.

2 47

Spring 1943.

2 48

Fall 1943.

2 49

Spring 1944.

2 50

Fall 1944.

2 51

Spring 1945.

2 52

Fall 1945.

2 53

Spring 1946.

2 54

Fall 1946.

2 55

Spring 1947.

3 1

Fall 1947.

3 2

Spring 1948.

3 3

Fall 1948.

3 4

Spring 1949.

3 5

Fall 1949.

3 6

Spring 1950.

3 7

Fall 1950.

3 8

Spring 1951.

3 9

Fall 1951.

3 10

Spring 1952.

3 11

Fall 1952.

3 12

Spring 1953.

3 13

Fall 1953.

3 14

Spring 1954.

3 15

Fall 1954.

3 16

Spring 1955.

3 17

Fall 1955.

3 18

Spring 1956.

3 19

Fall 1956.

3 20

Spring 1957.

3 21

Fall 1957.

3 22

Spring 1958.

3 23

Fall 1958.

3 24

Spring 1959.

3 25

Fall 1959.

3 26

Spring 1960.

3 27

Spring 1961.

3 28

Spring 1962.

3 29

Spring 1963.

3 30

Spring 1964.

3 31

Fall 1964, Spring 1965.

3 32

Fall 1965.

3 33

Spring 1966.

3 34

Fall 1966.

3 35

Spring 1967.

3 36

Fall 1967.

3 37

Acceptances, 1935.

3 38

Honorary and Alumnae Considered, Spring 1939.

3 39

Refusals, 1935-1946.

3 40

Requests for Election, 1935.

3 41
Box Folder

Essay Contest, 1941.

3 42

Faculty, 1965.

3 43

Installation of a Section in the College of Liberal Arts for Women, 1935.

3 44

Key Orders, 1960-1963.

3 45

Member List, n.d.

3 46

Minute Book, 1935-1944.

3 47

Nominating Committee, 1960.

3 48

Questionnaire, n.d.

3 49

Rituals, 1936-1956.

4 1

Secretary's File, 1964-1965.

4 2

Treasurer's Book, 1964-1969.

4 3

Treasurer's Files, 1944-1956.

4 4

Visiting Scholars, 1960-1963.

4 5

United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

Box Folder

Annals, 1934.

4 6

Chapter Officer's Manual, 1934.

4 7

Chapter Officer's Manual, 1958.

4 8

Chapter Officer's Manual, 1959.

4 9

Chapter Policy Committee Report, 1925.

4 10

Chapter Secretaries, 1965.

4 11

Constitution and By-Laws.

Box Folder

1938.

4 12

1940.

4 13

1955.

4 14

1958.

4 15

1961.

4 16

1964.

4 17
Box Folder

Dedication of Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall, 1957.

4 18

Form of Initiation, 1956.

4 19

Fourth Annual Lecture, 1938.

4 20

Greeting to New Members of Phi Beta Kappa, A, n.d.

4 21

Handbook for New Members, 1938.

4 22

Handbook for New Members, c. 1959.

4 23

Index to Phi Beta Kappa, 1934.

4 24

Laws and Practices, 1933.

4 25

Mailings to Chapters, 1928-1937.

4 26

Mailings to Chapters, 1937-1948.

4 27

Mailings to Chapters, 1949-1956.

4 28

Mailings to Chapters, 1956-1966.

4 29

Phi Beta Kappa Bulletin.

Box Folder

30 October 1931.

4 30

30 March 1932.

4 31

15 October 1932.

4 32

25 February 1933.

4 33

May 1933.

4 34

October 1933.

4 35

January 1934.

4 36

March 1934.

4 37

October 1934.

4 38

January 1935.

4 39

15 April 1935.

4 40

22 October 1935.

4 41

16 March 1936.

4 42

10 November 1936.

4 43

25 November 1936.

4 44

10 February 1937.

4 45

26 February 1937.

4 46

May 1937.

4 47

October 1937.

4 48

January 1938.

4 49

April 1938.

4 50

October 1938.

4 51

January 1939.

4 52

April 1939.

4 53

October 1939.

4 54

January 1940.

4 55

April 1940.

4 56

October 1940.

4 57

November 1940.

4 58

January 1941.

4 59

April 1941.

4 60

October 1941.

4 61

October 1943.

4 62

December 1944.

4 63

December 1946.

4 64

February 1949.

4 65

March 1950.

4 66

January 1951.

4 67

March 1952.

4 68

March 1953.

4 69

January 1954.

4 70

February 1955.

4 71

February 1956.

4 72

January 1957.

4 73

February 1958.

4 74

March 1959.

4 75

February 1960.

4 76

February 1961.

4 77

March 1962.

4 78

Phi Beta Kappa Key.

Box Folder

Index to Volume One (November 1910 to May 1913), n.d.

4 79

October 1912.

4 80

March 1913.

4 81

October 1913.

4 82

January 1914.

4 83

March 2014.

5 1

October 1914.

5 2

January 1915.

5 3

March 1915.

5 4

May 1915.

5 5

October 1915.

5 6

January 1916.

5 7

March 1916.

5 8

May 1916.

5 9

October 1916.

5 10

March 1917.

5 11

May 1917.

5 12

October 1917.

5 13

January and March 1918.

5 14

May 1918.

5 15

October 1918.

5 16

January 1919.

5 17

March 1919.

5 18

October 1919.

5 19

January 1920.

5 20

March 1920.

5 21

May 1920.

5 22

October 1920.

5 23

January 1921.

5 24

March 1921.

5 25

October 1921.

5 26

January 1922.

5 27

March 1922.

5 28

May 1923.

5 29

October 1923.

5 30

March 1924.

5 31

May 1924.

5 32

October 1924.

5 33

January 1925.

5 34

March 1925.

5 35

May 1925.

5 36

October 1925.

5 37

January 1926.

5 38

May 1926.

5 39

October 1926.

5 40

January 1927.

5 41

May 1927.

5 42

October 1927.

5 43

January 1928.

5 44

March 1928.

5 45

May 1928.

5 46

January 1929.

5 47

March 1929.

5 48

May 1929.

5 49

October 1929.

5 50

January 1930.

5 51

March 1930.

5 52

May 1930.

5 53

October 1930.

5 54

March 1931.

5 55

May 1931.

5 56

October 1931.

5 57
Box Folder

Phi Beta Kappa Past and Present, 1908.

5 58

Phi Beta Kappa Souvenir, 1910.

5 59

Search for Values, 1934.

5 60

Sesquicentennial Ceremonies, 1926.

5 61

Sixteenth National Council Reports of Officers, 1928.

5 62

Sixth Annual Lecture, 1940.

5 63

Triennial Councils.

Box Folder

Eighth Triennial Council, 1904.

5 64

Eighteenth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual and Minutes, 1934.

5 65

Nineteenth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1937.

5 66

Twentieth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1940.

5 67

Twenty-First Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1946.

6 1

Twenty-Second Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1949.

6 2

Twenty-Third Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1952.

6 3

Twenty-Fifth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1958.

6 4

Twenty-Fourth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual, 1955.

6 5

Other Phi Beta Kappa Chapters.

Box Folder

California: Alpha of California (University of California) Handbook, 1917.

6 6

Connecticut: Alpha of Connecticut (Yale University): Catalogue of Members, 1905.

6 7

Connecticut: Gamma of Connecticut (Wesleyan University) Catalo.

6 8

Georgia: Gamma of Georgia (Emory University): Address at the Installation of the Gamma Chapter of Georgia, 1929.

6 9

Illinois: Beta Chapter of Illinois (University of Chicago) Handbook, 1915.

6 10

Illinois: Gamma Chapter of Illinois (University of Illinois) Handbook, 1920.

6 11

Illinois: Gamma Chapter of Illinois (University of Illinois) Charter, Constitution, By-Laws and Members, 1930.

6 12

Kentucky: Alpha of Kentucky (University of Kentucky) Who's Who, 1935.

6 13

Massachusetts: Alpha of Massachusetts (Harvard University) Catalogue, 1912.

6 14

Massachusetts: Beta of Massachusetts (Amherst College) Catalogue, 1934.

6 15

Massachusetts: Epsilon of Massachusetts (Boston University) Directory, 1916.

6 16

Minnesota: Beta of Minnesota (Carleton College) Handbook, 1918.

6 17

Minnesota: Beta of Minnesota (Carleton College) Handbook, 1939.

6 18

Missouri: Alpha of Missouri (University of Missouri), 1909.

6 19

New Hampshire: Alpha of New Hampshire (Dartmouth College) 150 Anniversary, 1937.

6 20

New York: Beta of New York (New York University): The Presidents of the Beta of New York, A Centennial Memoir, 1958.

6 21

New York: Gamma of New York (City College of New York) History, c. 1942.

6 22

New York: Kappa of New York (Syracuse University) Handbook, 1905.

6 23

New York: Theta of New York (Cornell University) Handbook, c. 1912.

6 24

Ohio: Alpha of Ohio (Adelbert College and College for Women of Western Reserve University) Handbook, 1917.

6 25

Ohio: Epsilon of Ohio (Ohio State University) Directory, 1917.

6 26

Pennsylvania: Alpha of Pennsylvania (Dickinson College) Handbook, 1929.

6 27

Pennsylvania: Alpha of Pennsylvania (Dickinson College) Handbook, 1933.

6 28

Pennsylvania: Alpha of Pennsylvania (Dickinson College) Handbook, 1939.

6 29

Pennsylvania: Beta of Pennsylvania (Lehigh University) Handbook, c. 1937.

6 30

Pennsylvania: Epsilon of Pennsylvania (Swarthmore College) Handbook, 1919.

6 31

Pennsylvania: Eta of Pennsylvania (Allegheny College) Handbook, 1927.

6 32

Pennsylvania: Iota of Pennsylvania (Gettysburg College) Handbook, 1940.

6 33

Pennsylvania: Theta of Pennsylvania (Franklin and Marshall College) Handbook, 1933.

6 34

Pennsylvania: Zeta of Pennsylvania (Haverford College) Handbook, 1937.

6 35

Rhode Island: Alpha of Rhode Island (Brown University) Handbook, 1914.

6 36

Rhode Island: Alpha of Rhode Island (Brown University): Keys at Brown, 1937.

6 37

South Dakota: Alpha Rho of South Dakota (University of South Dakota) Membership Scroll, n.d.

6 38

Tennessee: Alpha of Tennessee (Vanderbilt College) Handbook, 1906.

6 39

Tennessee: Alpha of Tennessee (Vanderbilt College): In Memoriam Herbert Cushing Tolman, 1926.

6 40

Texas: Alpha of Texas (University of Texas) Handbook, 1920.

6 41

Wisconsin: Alpha of Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin) Catalogue, 1917.

6 42

Wisconsin: Phi Beta Kappa Alumni in Milwaukee [Association] Handbook, c. 1917.

6 43