Hand-drawn bookplate for a volume from the Loganian Society collection
Book inscribed to the Loganian Society by Uriah Hunt, later given to the College Library
Founded soon after the opening of the School, the Loganian Society became a major contributor to reading and learning activities on Haverford’s campus. Named for James Logan, a friend of William Penn, the Society was dedicated to teaching "sound learning in disciplining the mind and maturing the understanding" of the students. Open to all students and faculty members, they met regularly and held debates, sporting events, and essay contests.
Key among the Loganians’ contributions was founding a library and a museum collection that supplemented the holdings of the College. Although financed in large part by students, selections of materials were from the beginning subject to the approval of the Faculty. The Loganian book collection supported the activities of the Society, with strengths in the areas of English literature, poetry, biography, history, travel, politics and economics. Popular fiction was strongly discouraged.
By the 1850s, current and former members had enlarged the Loganian library to well over 1000 titles. The Society published its own printed catalog in 1859. These books were moved together with the College’s main library from Founder’s Hall into the newly built Alumni Hall in 1864. In this same location, now the Magill Library in which you stand, Loganian members maintained and operated their library separately from the main collection until 1887, when the Society took the decision to donate all of its holdings to the College.