Harman Literary Society

Harman Literary Society "Is Marriage A Failure" Cartoon


A section of the 1907 Microcosm included cartoons of various organizations and the types of fictitious contests they would be involved with. One window of the cartoon depicts the Harman Literary Society in a heated debate over the question of "Is Marriage a Failure."

"Promiscuous Kissing is a Good Thing" Declares the "Harman Literary Society"


A fictitious meeting that the Harman Literary Society had was published in the 1905 Microcosm. The piece completely makes fun of the society, and some of the women involved with it. At their meeting, the women apparently held a debate on whether "Promiscuous Kissing is a Good Thing." One side argued that kissing is "conductive to good health...exercises the kissers" and gives personal experience.

Harman Society Studies Notable Women in Literary Fields


Dickinson's all female Harman Literary Society actively studied prominent figures in the literary world during the 1933 academic year.  A great deal of their focus during the second semester was "devoted to famous women who had won world-wide recognition in literary and other fields."  The large number of female members in the group is significant in and of itself and mirrors the significance of their focus on and appreciation for the female presence in literature.

Harman Literary Society Doubles in Size


By 1899, the Harman Literary Society for women had doubled in size. In 1898 there were only 9 women who were apart of the society. By 1899 though, the organization now had 18 women involved.

1898 Microcosm Included Brief History of the Harman Literary Society


The 1898 Microcosm included a brief history of the women's Harman Literary Society, as well as a list of its active members. Since its creation in October of 1896, the Harman Literary Society showed activity and creativity on campus. Along with the Belles Lettres and the Union Philosophical Societies, the Harman Literary Society participated with them to put on a program in celebration of Washington's birthday.

Harman Literary Society Created by Female Students


The Harman Literary Society was first conceptualized on October 21, 1896 by the ladies of Dickinson College. The female students first met in Denny Hall for the purpose of organizing a literary society and were allowed to make a temporary one. The society is named after Dr. Henry Harman, a professor of Greek and Hebrew who was also a member of the Class of 1848. Dr. Harman was known as a staunch opponent of coeducation, but the Professor did give his approval for use of his name. On November 11, 1896 the committee was formed and their constitution formally adopted.