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Manuscript Group 61

Alpha of Idaho, Phi Beta Kappa

Records, 1921-1967
2 c.f.


The records of the local Phi Beta Kappa chapter were donated to the University of Idaho Library in the late 1960's by the society. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in May 1985.

PHI BETA KAPPA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

From 1912 to 1916 faculty members who were Phi Beta Kappa members were engaged in a futile attempt to obtain a charter for the university. Then, on November 3, 1921, this group plus members of the community who were also Phi Beta Kappa members formed the Phi Beta Kappa Club for the purpose of obtaining a local charter. In 1923 this club was expanded to include honor students and its name was changed to the Alpha Society. Perseverance, hard work, and a lot of letter writing finally paid off when, on September 8, 1925, Professor G. M. Miller, President of the Alpha Society, received the following telegram: "Charter granted with handsome majority. [signed] Oscar M. Voorhees, Secretary."

The society is composed of faculty and local residents who were elected by their undergraduate institutions for membership. These in turn elect to membership a small number of juniors and seniors with high grade point averages in the College of Letters and Science, these are called Members in Course. Alumni of the University who have had distinguished careers are eligible for election as Alumni Members and scholars associated with the university, but not holding membership from their undergraduate institutions can be elected as Honorary Members.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The papers of the Idaho Alpha chapter span the years 1921 to 1967, with the bulk of the material from the years 1926 to 1959.

The material includes correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, relating to membership, initiations, and other society matters, several editions of the local chapter by-laws, including material relating to the by-law controversy of 1941-42, lists of members and also lists of those juniors and seniors considered for membership, and minutes of meetings from 1926-1936 and 1958-59, as well as minutes and other material relating to the Alpha Society. The financial records include the annual report to the United Chapters, key orders, bank statements, canceled checks, and invoices, mostly from the United Chapters. There are photographs of Members in Course for 1955 and 1961, and some Phi Beta Kappa publications, addresses, and delegate manuals for conferences.

ARRANGEMENT AND DESCRIPTION

The material in this record group was originally stored in large letter transfer boxes, with some items in folders, some in envelopes, and some loose. The material was sorted by record type and original folder headings, if present, were retained. Since there did not appear to be either an alphabetical or chronological order within individual folders the material was arranged chronologically by year only in cases where a strict chronological order was not important, e.g. letters accepting membership in the society, but where a logical progression was important, a strict chronological order was formed. The major exception to this are correspondence folders I and 2 which were originally alphabetical and have been left in that order.

Correspondence dealing with the writing and amending of the chapter by-laws has been retained in the Constitution & By-laws series; likewise, financial correspondence is with the records of the secretary-treasurer.

Due to personnel changes in the office of secretary-treasurer the same types of records will be found in different folders, i.e. one maintained a separate folder for key orders-while another included these with the correspondence.

SERIES LIST

Containers

I. Correspondence, 1915-1964 1

II. Constitution and By-Laws, 1925-1964 1

III. Membership, 1926-1966 2

IV. Minutes, 1926-1959 2

V. Other Papers, 1921-1964 2

VI. Financial Records, 1925-1967 2

VII. Photographs, 1955-1961 2

VIII. Publications, 1906-1963 2

INVENTORY

ALPHA OF IDAHO, PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY

Box Folder Description Items

I. Correspondence, 1915-1964

1	1-2	1915-1916, A-Z	127
	3-5	1920-1925	256
	6	Election to Membership - Form Letter, n.d.	2
	7-9	Acceptances (Alumni), 1926-1953	156
	10-12	Acceptances (Members in Course) 1926-1953	229
	13-15	Arrangements for Initiations, 1926-1953	231
	16	Memberships and Initiations, 1936-1964	56
	17	Dr. Church's file on Alumni, 1927-1963	16
	18	With Dr. Voorhees, 1925-1933	86
	19	Incidental with members, 1926-1950	76
	20	With Other Groups, 1926-1947	79
	21	Cognate Organizations, 1926-1938	17
	22	Phi Beta Kappa Speaker & Visiting Scholar Program, 1935-1961	114
	23	Committee on Elections, 1931-1932	113
	24	Candidates for Charters, 1926-1937	82
	25	WSC Application for Charter, 1926-1929	48
	26	Conferences & Conventions, 1926-1941	48
	27-28	Circular letters to Chapter Officers, 1926-1959	76
	29	The American Scholar, 1931-1953	42
	30	Sesquicentennial Endowment Fund, 1923-1927	57
	31	Defense Fund, 1939-1941	11
	32	Phi Beta Kappa Associates, 1937-1944	6
	33	Other Correspondence, 1931-1960	16

II. Constitution and By-laws, 1925-1964

	34	United Chapters, 1925-1955	7
	35	U-I Chapter, Correspondence, 1925-1964	29
	36	U-I Chapter, drafts of By-laws, 1928-1964	16
	37	The Controversial By-laws at the Bottom of the Crisis of 1941-1942. 1940-1943	48

III. Membership, 1926-1966

2	38	United Chapters Committee on Methods of Election. Reports, 1946-1964	3
	39	Membership Committee File, 1936-1964	17
	40	Candidates for Election, 1936-1966	50
	41	Lists of Members, 1926-1965	26

IV. Minutes, 1926-1959

2	42-44	Feb. 1926 - May 1936	123
	45	1958-1959		10

V. Other Papers, 1921-1964

	46	Papers relating to Idaho's Membership, 1925	8
	47	U of I Installation Programs, 1926-1964	10
	48	Installations - Other Chapters - Invitations, 1930-1953	27
	49	Phi Beta Kappa Book Award, 1953-1961	7
	50	Promotion of Scholarship, Comments of members, 1940	18
	51	Consideration of Rituals, 1954-1955	8
	52-53	Alpha Society, 1921-1926	59
	54	Inland Empire Phi Beta Kappa, 1921-1941	36

VI. Financial Records, 1925-1967

	55	Chapter Annual Reports, 1938/39-1953/54	16
	56	Correspondence with United Chapters Secretary, 1931-1955	129
	57	Key & Membership Certificate Orders, 1956-1965	10
	58	Membership Card Stub Books, 1926-1932	3
	59	Bank Books and Early receipts, 1925-1965	9
	60-70	Bank Statements, Invoices, etc., 1957-1967	187
	71	Cash Journal, 1962-1966	12
	72	Check stub and deposit books, 1955-1966	5

VII. Photographs, 1955-1961

	73	Group picture with negative (for Gem), 1955	2
	74	Group picture (Walt Johnson Photo), 1961	1

VIII. Publications, 1906-1963

	75	Association Bulletin, 1933-1937	5
	76	Chapter Bulletin, 1931-1937	17
	77	The Key Reporter, 1952-1955	2
	78	Phi Beta Kappa Bulletin, 1955-1959	4
	79	Phi Beta Kappa Key, October 1915	1
	80	Phi Beta Kappa Laws and Practices, 1933	1
	81	Publications about Phi Beta Kappa, 1906-1963	7
	82-83	Phi Beta Kappa Addresses, 1936-1959	10
	84	Delegate's manuals to triennial councils, 1934-1955	5


July 1997/ mg061.htm

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