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Eurodelphian Literary Society records

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MSP 124
The Eurodelphian Literary Society records (1920-1932, 0.4 cubic feet) documents the activities and membership of both the local and national chapters of the society.  Included in the collection are meeting minutes, pledge registers, constitutions, and notes on ceremonies and rituals.  These materials give insight into the weekly happenings of the society as well as less frequent ceremonies.  Unfortunately, the collection has no content from the earliest years of the society’s existence.  This collection might be useful to researchers interested in women’s history, Purdue history, literary societies, extracurricular activities of female students, 19th and 20th century material culture, and the impact of Dean Shoemaker.  Types of materials include: records books, printed material, constitutions, and ephemera.


  • 1920-1932


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University


0.40 Cubic Feet

0.4 cubic feet (1 mss box) other_unmapped

1.00 mss._boxes


Collection includes record books documenting the activities, meetings, and members of the Eurodelphian Literary Society, as well as documents relating to their rituals and the national chapter

Biographical or Historical Information

The Eurodelphian Literary society was started at Purdue in 1917 as a local women’s society dedicated to literary discussion and debate.  Shortly after, the members of the society learned of a second Eurodelphian Society at Kansas State University and contacted them about the prospect of creating a national version of the group.  The two local chapters were successful in doing so and became the first national literary society to be established for women in 1919.  The Purdue chapter of the national society was named the Beta chapter.  The Beta chapter constitution found in this collection indicates that there were at least six chapters of the national society.  The club maintained strict academic requirements for admission, including an “A” average in all English classes, and a “B” average for all other classes.  The Eurodelphians found strong support from Dean Carolyn Shoemaker, who instituted the annual award of the Eurodelphian medal to a senior member of outstanding achievement.  Shoemaker also helped inspire the merger between the Eurodelhians and the Philaletheans to form a more unified and stronger society in the face of declining memberships.  The new society retained the name of the Philaletheans and lasted until 1936, when it appears that honoraries took the place of literary societies due to decreased interest and membership (likely due to the expanded availability of women’s activities at Purdue).

Note written by Virginia Pleasant

Arrangement Note

1.  Local and National Documents, ca 1927-1932 (0.2 cubic feet)  This series includes various documents pertaining to the local and national chapters of the Eurodelphian.  Included are copies of the local and national constitution, notes on ceremonies and rituals performed by the society, and copies of the Eurodelphian Messenger (a national newsletter). Materials in the series are arranged by chronologically and by type. 2.  Record Books, 1920-1932 (0.2 cubic feet) This series includes minutes of society meetings and a pledge book that documents all new members from 1920-1929. Materials in the series are arranged chronologically and by type.

Custodial History

The records were created by the Eurodelphian Literary Society and subsequently housed in the searchable stacks before being transferred to ASC.

Method of Acquisition


Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

MSP 101, Philalethean Literary Society records MSP 34, Irving Literary Society records MSP 141, Carlyle Literary Society records MSP 142, Emersonian Literary Society records

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.  All newsprint has been photocopied and in most cases original newspaper clippings have been discarded. Some clippings containing images of people or color graphics, or front pages of newspapers, have been preserved for display purposes, with photocopies made available for research.  Metal fasteners have been removed whenever possible to do so without threatening the integrity of the artifacts.
Eurodelphian Literary Society records
Virginia Pleasant
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States