Skip to main content

Haverford Athenaeum records

Identifier: HCQ-003-002

Scope and Contents

The Haverford Athenaeum records span the years 1858 to 1888, up until the eventual merging of the Haverford Athenaeum with the Everett Society in 1889. The collection includes four series; first, the Constitution, By-Laws, and Official Minutes series. This series contains the original constitution, whose articles outline rules regarding future modification of the constitution, the duties and titles of the officers, the process for election and resignation of officers, the requirements for election to office and for membership, and more. The by-laws similarly outline the organisation's requirements, protocol, and disciplinary policies for failure of duty. The Haverford Athenaeum's minutes are included in all four volumes of this series, and are generally logistical in subject matter, containing information such as the the attendance record, the topics of essays read or subjects debated, and accounts of any change in officers or members. These official minutes are recorded by the Haverford Athenaeum's secretary. The second series contains the Treasurer's Accounts. These two volumes vary in detail, with the second (1876-1888) including more thorough information, but both volumes record the dates, names, and amounts of money received or spent. The third series includes the Haverford Athenaeum's private literary journal, The Gem. Series three contains all volumes of the handwritten literary journal, excepting Vol. 5 (1861). The Gem includes original essays contributed by student members. The fourth and final Miscellaneous series contains publications by the Haverford Athenaeum regarding society events, including the script of an address on President Lincoln.


  • Creation: 1858-1888


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Historical Note

The Haverford Athenaeum was a student-founded society established in 1855 for the purpose of "cultivating in themselves a correct taste for literature and a love for scientific pursuits." The society was initially private and required an application process for new members as well as a membership fee. In addition to delivering declamations, writing and sharing original essays, hosting visiting speakers, and debating various topics, the society also published a private literary journal, The Gem, which was first issued in 1857 and ran until 1887.

The Haverford Athenaeum was a rival of the Everett Society until the two merged into the Everett-Athenaeum Literary Society in 1889 to combat waning student interest. The Haverford Athenaeum in particular had suffered diminishing membership, waning from 33 members in 1863/1864 to only 11 in 1871/1872. As part of this effort to increase student interest, the Haverford Athenaeum and Everett Society donated their libraries to the college and opened membership to the public, doing away with the element of exclusivity. In spite of these changes, attendance did not increase.


5 linear ft. (37 volumes)

Language of Materials



The Haverford Athenaeum records span the years 1858 to 1888, up until the eventual merging of the Haverford Athenaeum with the Everett Society in 1889. The collection contains constitution, by-laws, meeting minutes, treasure accounds, and a published periodical The Gem.


The records are arranged in four series. The contents of each series are arranged chronologically.

Series 1. Haverford Athenaeum: Constitution, By-Laws, and Official Minutes, 1858-1861, 1866-1888

Series 2. Treasurer's Accounts, 1863-1888

Series 3. The Gem, 1857-1887

Series 4. Miscellaneous, 1865-1866


Acquisition unknown.

Related Materials

  • HCQ.003.003 Everett Society records, 1858-1993
  • HCQ.003.004 Everett-Athenaeum records, 1888-1894

Processing Information

Processed by Natalia Gutierrez-Jones; completed February, 2016.

Haverford Athenaeum records, 1858-1888
Natalia Gutierrez-Jones
January, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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 Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US