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Phi Beta Kappa. Delta of Pennsylvania Records
1898-1972 (bulk 1935-1968)

UPS 43.4

7.0 Cubic feet

Prepared by Timothy H. Horning

August 2014

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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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. 

 

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AGENCY 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 "Philosophia Biou Cybernetes" 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. 

 

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SCOPE and CONTENT

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. 

 

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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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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 

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

22

n.d. 

1

23

District Meetings 1928-1960 

1

24

Elections 

1907-1910 

1

25

1910-1913 

1

26

1913-1914 

1

27

1914-1918 

1

28

1918-1919 

1

29

1919-1923 

1

30

1924-1962 

1

31

n.d. 

1

32

Honorary 1902-1925 

1

33

Electoral Board 1934-1961 

1

34

Elmaleh Prize 1945-1960 

1

35

Faculty 1955-1961 

1

36

History of Delta of Pennsylvania Chapter 1909 

1

37

Honorary Members 1927-1960 

1

38

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

23

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Delta of Pennsylvania, Women's Section 

Box

Folder

Annual Reports to United Chapters 1935-1964 

2

24

By-Laws 1935-1965 

2

25

Charter Members 1935 

2

26

Correspondence 

1935 

2

27

1936-1940 

2

28

1941-1963 

2

29

Carl Billman 1958-1962 

2

30

Speakers 1937-1941 

2

31

Elections 

Spring 1935 

2

32

Fall 1935 

2

33

Spring 1936 

2

34

Fall 1936 

2

35

Spring 1937 

2

36

Spring 1938 

2

37

Fall 1938 

2

38

Spring 1939 

2

39

Fall 1939 

2

40

Spring 1940 

2

41

Fall 1940 

2

42

Spring 1941 

2

43

Fall 1941 

2

44

Spring 1942 

2

45

Fall 1942 

2

46

Spring 1943 

2

47

Fall 1943 

2

48

Spring 1944 

2

49

Fall 1944 

2

50

Spring 1945 

2

51

Fall 1945 

2

52

Spring 1946 

2

53

Fall 1946 

2

54

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

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 1944-1968 

4

4

Visiting Scholars 1960-1963 

4

5

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United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa 

Box

Folder

Annals 1934 

4

6

A Bibliography of Phi Beta Kappa, Clark Sutherland Northup 1928 

7

4

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 

1938 

4

12

1940 

4

13

1955 

4

14

1958 

4

15

1961 

4

16

1964 

4

17

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 and General Address Catalogue 1900 

7

1

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 

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 

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

May 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

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 

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-Fourth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual 1955 

6

4

Twenty-Fifth Triennial Council Delegate's Manual 1958 

6

5

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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): Catalogue 1906 

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): Handbook 1909 

6

19

New Hampshire: Alpha of New Hampshire (Dartmouth College): 150th 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: Kappa of New York (Syracuse University): Men and Days in Phi Beta Kappa, Rev. Arthur Copeland, D.D. 1907 

7

2

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

Rhode Island: Alpha of Rhode Island (Brown University): More Than a Century of Scholars, William T. Hastings 1955 

7

3

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

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