Skip to main content

Eunomian Literary Society Records

Identifier: SFHL-RG6-Q003

Scope and Contents

Consists of the records of the Eunomian Literary Society, including minutes from its founding in 1871 to May 1913. Also includes printed copies of the constitution and by-laws (1889 and 1897 editions), as well as correspondence from 1872 to 1900.

Organized into three series:

  1. Constitution and By-Laws
  2. Minutes
  3. Correspondence


  • Creation: 1872-1897


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Biographical / Historical

The Eunomian Literary Society was founded at Swarthmore College in 1871. It was a men's student organization dedicated to developing its members' debating skills and encouraging their mutual improvement in literature and the cultivation of fellowship and good feeling, according to the group's constitution.

At their regular meetings, the Eunomians debated contemporary issues, gave impromptu speeches, read poetry and short stories by famous authors, and occasionally played musical instruments. The group founded a library in 1874 that subscribed to a number of magazines such as Life, The Saturday Evening Post, and Ladies Home Journal. It was active on campus, holding debates with the Somerville and Delphic literary societies, and from 1871 to 1913, the group held meetings regularly. It published a journal, The Eunomian. In 1913, the group merged with the Delphic Society to form the Athenaeum.

According to the records of the group's rivals, the Delphic Literary Society, the Eunomian Literary Society was originally called the Eurodelphian Literary Society. The name was changed sometime after the fall of 1873 to Eunomian, which means under good laws.


1.5 linear ft. (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Eunomian Literary Society was a men's debating and speaking club founded at Swarthmore College, Pa., in 1871. In 1913, the group merged with the Delphic Literary Society, forming the Athenaeum. Records include minutes from 1871 to May 1913. Also includes printed copies of the constitution and by-laws and correspondence from 1872 to 1900.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Eunomian Literary Society

Related Materials

Delphic Literary Society, RG 6/Q/002

Somerville Literary Society, RG 6/Q/001

Separated Materials

Issues of the Eunomian, 1883-1884, stored in RG 6/A10/Student Publication.

Processing Information

Records were deposited at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, date unknown. Sorted, rehoused, and a new finding aid created in 2003.

Finding aid for Eunomian Literary Society Records, 1871-1913
Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA