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Henry Society records


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Henry Society (1855-1860) was a student-led literary society, focused on pursuing the Haverford mission through exploration and enrichment of literary knowledge. According to their constitution and by-laws, the Henry Society worked under the belief in "the great influence of sound learning in disciplining the mind and maturing the understandings and decisions of cultivating a correct taste in Literature and other similar accomplishments." The Society met at first each week during winter term, and once every three weeks during their summers, though this less frequent arrangement became the norm towards their disbandment. In order to enrich their literary education, the Henry Society organized oration exercises, "literary exercises," debates, and other spaces for improving general literary intuition. Since the Henry Society was primarily focused on writing and reading, they possessed a collection of books that was adopted by the final Secretary, Benjamin H. Smith, upon the dissolution of the Society in 1860.

The Henry Society records (1854-1860) include one volume of constitution and by-laws (1856), one minute book (1855-1860), and an oration presented to the Society by Cyrus Mendenhall in 1854. The oration by Cyrus Mendenhall precedes the official documentation of the operation of the Henry Society, indicating that the Society may have been convening before the actual creation of records.

The collection is arranged and described in two small volumes and one pamphlet, ordered by subject and type, and organized into separate folders.

Acquisition unknown.

Processed by Grace Thiele; completed February, 2016.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Grace Thiele
Finding Aid Date
February, 2016
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Consitutions and By-Laws, 1856.
Box 1 Folder 1
Meeting Minutes, 1855-1860.
Box 1 Folder 2
Oration by Cyrus Mendenhall, 1854.
Box 1 Folder 3

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