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HUD 3684 Library

Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University). Phi Beta Kappa library books : an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUD 3684 Library
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Alpha (Harvard University).
Title: Phi Beta Kappa library books, 1740-1854 .
Date(s): 1740-1854
Quantity: 13 cubic feet (approximately 300 volumes (83 titles))
Quantity: Extent is approximate.
Abstract: This inventory lists books that once formed a part of the library of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Harvard.

Researcher Access:

Due to the fragile condition of many of these volumes, handling restrictions may apply. All volumes are housed off-site.

Related Material

History of the Phi Beta Kappa Library Books

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.

Collection Contents

This collection of books once formed a part of the library of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 March 31.

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