Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University)

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The Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established at Harvard University in 1781. In 1995, it combined with the Radcliffe College chapter, Massachusetts Iota, to form the Massachusetts Alpha Iota chapter.

From the description of Records of Phi Beta Kappa : general correspondence, 1782-1911. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77068003

The Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Massachusetts Alpha, was established in 1781, making it the third oldest chapter of the organization. During the early 19th century, the chapter maintained a library in Holworthy Hall . As use of the library declined, the chapter eventually lost its "Library Room," and in 1855 the books were given to the Hasty Pudding Club , to the Harvard Natural History Society , and to the Harvard College Library . The University Archives, at the time a department within the College Library, received the PBK books as part of its holdings of historical records of associated organizations. The complete contents of the PBK library and the original selection criteria are unknown, but the Archives' subset offers a suggestion of what academically-inclined Harvard students may have read.

From the guide to the Phi Beta Kappa library books, ., 1740-1854, (Harvard University Archives)

The Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1781 at Harvard University. The Iota chapter was established at Radcliffe in 1914. In 1995, the two chapters united to form the Alpha Iota chapter of Massachusetts at Harvard University. At the time of the consolidation, Daniel Steiner was president of the Alpha chapter.

From the description of Records of the President of the Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1992-1995. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77063819

Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1781 at Harvard University.

From the description of Records of Phi Beta Kappa, 1781- (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76972745

The Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1781 at Harvard University. The Iota chapter was established at Radcliffe in 1914. In 1995, the two chapters united to form the Alpha Iota chapter of Massachusetts at Harvard University. Elliot Forbes was president of the Alpha chapter from 1985-1987.

From the description of Records of the President of the Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1985-1987. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77063866

The Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Massachusetts Alpha, was established in 1781. During the early 19th century, the chapter maintained a library in Holworthy Hall. As use of the library declined, the chapter eventually lost its "Library Room," and in 1855 the remaining books were given to the Hasty Pudding (and/or the Institute of 1770), to the Natural History Society, and to the College Library.

In 1901, the Harvard Archives received a transfer of Phi Beta Kappa books from the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), which suggests that these volumes may have been given to the MCZ by the Natural History Society. In 1903, the Archives received another Phi Beta Kappa book, "Poems of Nazareth." In March and April of 1937, the Archives received two large transfers of PBK books from the Hasty Pudding. The last PBK book received by the Archives, a copy of George Washington's "Official letters to the Congress," was donated by George Goodspeed in 1983. (Sources: Harvard University Archives HU 255.914 shelflist; Harvard Crimson, 6/7/1937)

From the description of Phi Beta Kappa library books, 1740-1854. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 192030306

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Faculty records concerning Phi Beta Kappa candidates, 1898-1968 (inclusive). Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Beatley, Ralph, 1892-1989. Scrapbook, 1908-1920. Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Records of Phi Beta Kappa 1909-1992 (inclusive) Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Frost, Robert, 1874-1963. The lesson for today : manuscript, [1941] Houghton Library
referencedIn Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. [Phi Beta Kappa poem] : manuscript, 1834. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Phi Beta Kappa library books, 1740-1854. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1914-1961. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Records of the President of the Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1992-1995. Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Records of Phi Beta Kappa, 1781- Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874. [The scholar, the jurist, the artist, the philanthropist : an address before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard University, at their anniversary, August 27, 1846] : manuscript, [1846] Houghton Library
referencedIn Richardson, James, 1771-1858. Harmony and concord, faction and discord; a poem delivered before the Society of Phi Beta Kappa at Cambridge, (19th century manuscript copy), July, 1800. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn William Ernest Hocking papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Harry Levin papers Houghton Library
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Records of Phi Beta Kappa : general correspondence, 1782-1911. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Warren, John Collins, 1778-1856. Phi Beta Kappa dissertation on the study of history at Harvard, February 21, 1797. Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Certificate of membership. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Records of the President of the Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1985-1987. Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Phi Beta Kappa library books, ., 1740-1854 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Sargent, Winthrop, 1783-1808. A poem on taste : manuscript, [ca. 1800] Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers of Samuel Shapleigh, 1739/1740-1800. Harvard University Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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associatedWith Warren, John Collins, 1778-1856. person
associatedWith Washington, George. person
associatedWith Watson, R.. person
associatedWith Watts, I. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
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Active 1914

Active 1961

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