Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Cliosophic Society Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
90 boxes and 1 folder
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-89; S-000251


The Cliosophic Society (1770-1941) was a political, literary, and debating society on the Princeton campus that played an important role in the development of the college and also the intellectual and social development of generations of Princeton students.

Collection Description & Creator Information


Consists of records of the Cliosophic Society (1770-1941). The material documents the growth and development of the second-oldest literary and debating society in the United States, from its inception in 1770, through its rivalry with the other campus literary organization, the Whig Society, to its final merger with Whig in 1941. Included in the records are minutes, treasurer's bills, committee documents, attendance rolls, membership lists, constitutions and by-laws, and publications.


The Records of the Cliosophic Society are divided into thirteen series, primarily by the officer or committee who generated the documents. They are:

Collection History


The contents of the records were acquired in 1941 in an agreement between Princeton University and the Board of Trustees of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society. An attempt was made at organizing the records in 1975, but this report lacked certain archival necessities for organization.


In the process of organizing the Clio records, several items were purposefully discarded. These included the attendance rolls, which were extremely repetitive, bulky, and uninformative. In addition, several checkbooks were discarded since the transactions were recorded in the treasurer's records. Also, several debate itineraries were discarded, while one was kept as a sample, since the information was recorded in the minutes.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Douglas Ray in 1992. Finding aid written by Douglas Ray in 1992.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Credit this material:

Cliosophic Society Records; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-89; S-000251

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Related Materials

Related Princeton University Library manuscript collections most prominently include the Records of the American Whig Society and the Records of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society.

Subject Terms:
College students -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- Political activity.
College students -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- Societies and clubs.
Debates and debating -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- Societies, etc.
Genre Terms:
Cliosophic Society (Princeton University)
Princeton University