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Philomathean Society Records

 Record Group
Identifier: DC043

Scope and Contents

The Philomathean Society Records consists of documents created during the course of society business. Included are the constitution and bylaws, financial records, membership rolls, attendance records, meeting minutes, and committee reports. Documents cover the club's founding in 1855 through its disbanding in 1924. The meeting minutes are notable as they shed light on some of the rituals and inner workings of the Society.


  • 1855 - 1922


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies and digital photographs may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Archivist. Researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.

Biographical / Historical

The Philomathean Society was founded in 1855 as a companion to the original campus secret society, the Calliopean Society, which was founded in 1852. The Lawrenceville School Philomathean Society was based on Philomathean Society at the University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1813. Like the Calliopean Society, the Philomathean Society's stated mission was the advancement of learning, promotion of literature, and practicing of discourse and debate. Election into the Society was limited and considered to be a prestigious honor. The two most important events on the Philomathean Society calendar were the annual debate with the Calliopean Society and the annual banquet, in which previous members were invited to return. The Philomathean Society, along with the Calliopean Society, was abolished by the Board of Trustees in 1924. The trustees argued that the societies had become too political and had shifted from their original purpose as literary societies.


4.87 Linear Feet (14 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Philomathean Society Records are arranged alphabetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were transferred from The Lawrenceville School Philomathean Society to the Archives.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Stephan Archives guidelines.


Information in the historical note was gathered from material within the Philomathean records, as well as Five Miles Away: The Story of The Lawrenceville School by Samuel R. Slaymaker, II.

Processing Information

The Philomathean Society Records were processed by Casey Babcock in January-February of 2012.
Philomathean Society Records: Finding Aid
Casey Babcock
March 6, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

Box 6128
2500 Main St.
Lawrenceville 08648 U.S.A. US