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Phi Beta Kappa University of Iowa Chapter Records

Identifier: RG02.0003.024

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Scope and Contents

Records of the Alpha Chapter of Iowa, Phi Beta Kappa have been received by The University of Iowa Archives primarily through deposits from Chapter officers over the years. They are organized into seven series: History and Constitution, Administrative Materials, Financial Records, General Correspondence, Membership, High School Scholarship Awards, and Publications and Other Printed Materials. In addition to the General Correspondence series, correspondence specifically related to other series will be found in: Finance, Membership, and High School Scholarship Awards.


  • Creation: 1896-


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

The Phi Beta Kappa Society, using the Greek initials of the motto "Love of Learning is the Guide of Life," was founded on December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Originally it was similar to what are now social fraternities and was as well similar to a debating or literary society with the purpose of encouraging patriotism, scholarship and literature.

As time passed it became increasingly a scholastic honor society with chapters as of 2009 located on more than 275 college and university campuses throughout the country. Typically no more than ten percent of the arts and sciences graduates on these campuses are selected for membership in the Society; selection is based principally on academic achievement.

The University of Iowa chapter is the State of Iowa's Alpha (first) chapter, founded in 1895. The first officers of the Alpha Chapter of Iowa were Amos N. Currier, president; James A. Rohbach, vice president; and Charles Bundy Wilson, secretary-treasurer.


9.00 Linear Feet

Method of Acquisition

Records of the UI chapter of Phi Beta Kappa have been transferred to the University Archives from the chapter at various times. Guide posted to the Internet April 2008 and updated October 2009.

Wayne Rawley, 2009
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242