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Delphic Literary Society Records

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Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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 Delphic Literary Society of Swarthmore College was founded in 1873 by a group of freshman men, unhappy that they had been told they would have to wait until their sophomore year to become members of the Eurodelphians (later the Eunomians), the only men's literary society on campus. The Delphic Literary Society was open to male students from any class, and its mission was to develop its members' debating and writing skills.

In their regular meetings, the Delphics debated contemporary and historical subjects, occasionally discussed literature, held mock trials, and invited outside speakers to lecture. The Delphics also organized a reading room which in 1893 boasted six daily newspaper subscriptions and was open to any student. They also started a library in 1875 that by 1893 had more than 1100 volumes; according to the group's printed history, it was used by the Swarthmore College history department as its primary reference library.

The Delphics produced a manuscript journal which included editorials, short stories, and humorous anecdotes about Swarthmore College professors and students. The Delphic Chronicle, a name that around 1891 was changed to The Delphic Oracle, was produced monthly from 1890 to about 1902.

In 1893-1894 and again in the 1909 -1910 academic year, the Delphics organized a mock US Senate, the Delphic Senate, in which various Delphics took on the role of US Senators and debated contemporary bills and issues. Annual debates were held between teams from the Delphic Literary Society, Somerville Literary Society and Eunomians from 1897 to 1901. The Delphics did not hold any meetings from May 25, 1903 to March 24, 1905. The last document in this collection on the Delphics is a 1913 letter to Delphic alumni, asking them to donate money to help build a hall on campus to serve as the Delphics' meeting place and to house their library.

In 1913, the group merged with the Eunomian Literary Society to became the Athenaeum. That group ceased operation about 1918.

Includes the Delphic Literary Society's constitution, printed and manuscript histories of the group (1893, 1910 editions), handwritten minutes (1874-1894), library records (ca. 1893), censor's accounts (1879-1890) and treasurer's accounts (1874-1890). Also includes miscellaneous papers relating to the proposed Delphic Hall, the Delphic Senate, the minutes of the Delphic Senate (1893-1894) and scattered issues from 1890 to 1902 of the Delphic Chronicle (after 1891 the Delphic Oracle). All folders are organized chronologically.

Donor: Delphic Literary Society

Publisher
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Finding Aid Date
2007
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Collection Inventory

Archival Resource Key. Handwritten copies of history, ca. 1890.
Box 1
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Printed booklets including history, constitution, membership, 1878,1893, 1910.
Box 1
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Minutes, 9/12/ 1874 - 3/10/1882.
Box 1
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Minutes, 3/23/1882 - 2/14/1894.
Box 1
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Censor's accounts, which record each meeting's activities, including the subjects and outcomes of their debates., 10/10/1879 -5/2/1890.
Box 1
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Minutes of the Delphic Senate, 10/3/1893-2/2/1894.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous bills, records of attendance and papers relating to the Delphic Senate, ca. 1893 - 1909.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Treasurer's accounts, 9/1874 - 6/14/1890.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Library Records, ca. 1893.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Printed and manuscript programs of annual meetings, reunions, and papers relating to the construction of the Delphic Hall., 1893 - 4/21/1893.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Chronicle, Volume 1 No. 1, ca. 1890.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Chronicle, Volume 1 No. 2, ca. 1890.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Chronicle, Volume 1 No. 3, ca. 1891.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Chronicle, Volume 1 No. 4, 2/6/1891.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Chronicle, Volume 1 No. 5, 3/6/1891.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Chronicle, Volume 2 No. 1, ca. 10/1891.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 2 No. 4, 1/22/1892.
Box 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 2 No. 7, 5/6/1892.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 2 No. 8, 6/17/1892.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 3 No. 1, 10/28/1892.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 3 No. 4, ca. 1/1893.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 3 No. 8, 6/17/1893.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 4? No. 1, 1893?.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 4 No. 3, 11/24/1893.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 5 No. 2, 12/7/1894.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 6 No. 2, ca . 1896.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 6 No. 3, 3/17/1896.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 6 No. 4, 6/5/1896.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 7 No. 1, 11/20/1896.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 7 No. 7, 6/4/1897.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 8 No. 2, 1/28/1898.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 8 No. 3, 6/3/1898.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 13 No. 4, ca. 1899.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume and Number Unknown, 5/1900.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Delphic Oracle, Volume 18 No. 1, 11/1902.
Box 3
Physical Description

1 folder

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