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Moore Literary Society Records

 Collection — Box: 1-4
Identifier: 017
The Moore Literary Society Records are divided into three (3) series: Minutes, Constitutions and By-Laws; Events and Memorbilia; and Moore Literary Gazette.  Series 1: Minutes, Constitution and Bylaws contains the Minute Books and Constitution and By-Laws for the organization from 1871 to 1938.  Series 2: Events and Memorbilia contains programs, invitations, memorbilia and materials relating to events hosted and sponsored by the Moore Literary Society from 1875 to 1938. The final series contains bound and loose copies of the society's periodical, the Moore Literary Gazette.


  • 1871-1938


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


4.00 Boxes (4 Medium Clam Shell Boxes)

4.00 Boxes


The Moore Literary Society Records is a collection of materials relating to the society's events, business (such as bylaws and constitutions) and publications.  The Moore Literary Society was one of two literary societies at West Chester during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The societies served as the main social outlet for West Chester State Normal School students and also provided a place for healthy debate and publication.  The Moore Literary Society published its own periodical, The Moore Literary Society Gazette, which merged with The Aryan Literary Society's, Aryan Review, to form the first student Newspaper, the Amulet.

Arrangement Chronological

Biographical or Historical Information

The Moore Literary Society was established in the fall of 1871, at the same time the West Chester State Normal School opened. The society was named after Dr. William E. Moore, the president of the Board of Trustees at the time. In the early days of the Normal School, the Moore and rival Aryan Literary Societies offered students a place for socializing, scholarly debating and writing as well as musical performance. They also served as the first libraries for students; the books owned by the societies later became the core collections of the library and some are still held in Special Collections. The Moore Literary Society was granted a charter in 1880, making it a corporation, the only literary society incorporated in Chester County.  At the height of the society's popularity it published The Moore Literary Gazette at each anniversary. The Gazette merged with the Aryan Society's Aryan Review to form The Amulet, the first student newspaper at West Chester. The Moore Literary Society's motto was Scire est regere or "To Know is to Rule" and the colors were garnet and gold. At the height of the societies' popularity almost every extracurricular event was sponsored by one or the other society and almost every student belonged to the groups and took pride in their membership.  However by the late 1930s the two societies lost favor among students as the number of other campus organizations grew and the cost ($1) of joining the societies appeared worthless.  By 1940 the two societies were no longer listed as campus organizations in the course catalogs or yearbooks.

Related Publications

The Amulet, The Aryan Review
Related Materials West Chester University Student Newspaper Digital Collection, including The Amulet. The Aryan Literary Society Records.

Processing Information

Processed by Brittany Schiavo, Fall 2014.
Moore Literary Society Records
Collection processed by Brittany Schiavo '16, Finding written by Tara Wink
Spring 2015
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Chester University Archives Repository