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Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society Records


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

General Chapter Information, 1912 - 2006

Membership Information, 1917 - 1993

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Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society Records, 1912-2006 | WUA University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society Records, 1912-2006Add to your cart.

ID: WUA/05/wua00086

Primary Creator: Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society - Washington University in St. Louis

Extent: 3.5 Cubic Feet


The collection is divided into 2 series, and then arranged in alphabetical order.

Series 01: General Chapter Information, 1912 – 2006 Series 02: Membership Information, 1917 – 1993

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of correspondence, reports, bulletins, publications and membership manuals that chronicle the history of the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Washington University in St. Louis.

Collection Historical Note

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest honorary society, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  It one of the most prestigious honorary societies for the liberal arts in the United States.

Phi Beta Kappa was the earliest society to adopt Greek letters for a name. These are taken from the first letters of the Greek phrase Philosophia Biou Kubernetes, translated as The Love of Wisdom, the Helmsman of Life. 

The goal of Phi Beta Kappa is to encourage humane learning, a goal which includes not merely superior achievement but also a broad range of interests in the liberal arts, depth of understanding, and a high regard for intellectual honesty and tolerance.

The Washington University Chapter (Beta of Missouri) was established in 1914.  Each spring the chapter elects new undergraduate members from among students pursuing degrees in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Administrative Information

Repository: WUA University Archives

Accruals: Accruals are interfiled with the collection.

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Method: This material was initially donated by Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to the University Archives in 1966 with additional material donated in 2011.

Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Processing Information: Processed by Jay Kempen and Leela Pandey in September 2005; Additional processing by Ashley Eckhardt in June 2011.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Hannah Barg in June 2012.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: General Chapter Information, 1912 - 2006],
[Series 2: Membership Information, 1917 - 1993],

Series 2: Membership Information, 1917 - 1993Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 94: List of Members in the St. Louis Area, 1934Add to your cart.
Folder 95: Member Handbooks, circa 1928 - 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 96: Membership and Candidate Rosters, 1937 - 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 97: Registration Cards, 1973 - 1982Add to your cart.
Folder 98: Registry, 1941 - 1960Add to your cart.
Folder 99: Registry, 1963 - 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 100: Registry, 1977 - 1993Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 101: Membership Cards, 1917 - 1972Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: General Chapter Information, 1912 - 2006],
[Series 2: Membership Information, 1917 - 1993],

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