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Delta Psi Kappa Records

Identifier: MSS155

Scope and Contents

The Delta Psi Kappa Collection consists of various materials: administrative, financial, and historical, that pertain to the development and the day to day running of the organization. While the collection contains materials from the entire history of Delta Psi Kappa, the bulk of the collection’s materials concern the years 1960 to 1980. The collection is divided into a number of series, with Administrative Records, Financial Records, Publications, and Individual Chapter Documents being the four largest series.

Administrative Records, 1916-1992, mostly consist of records pertaining to the internal operation of Delta Psi Kappa. These records include yearly reports, manuals, and procedures from throughout the more than 80-year history of Delta Psi Kappa. These records also include reports and information on Delta Psi Kapp’s affiliation with the Professional Panhellenic Association. There are also roster collections and various versions of Delta Psi Kappa’s Constitution from throughout its history.

Financial Records, 1920-1996, consists mostly of audit reports, balance sheets, and insurance papers alongside other financial documents. This series unlike the others in the collection is heavily biased towards the 1980s and the 1990s, with major gaps throughout the rest of the organization’s history. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s however, the series provides an in depth look at the organization’s financial situation and organizational structure.

Publications, 1925-1999, includes various newsletters, pamphlets, magazines, and journals published by Delta Psi Kappa throughout its history. These included The Foil, The Progressive Physical Educator, and Psi Kap Shield, all of which were published between the years of 1925 and 1999. This series also includes bound collections of these publications, most notably The Foil, which cover some periods where there are gaps in the unbound versions. This series also includes yearly publications collections that were gathered together by Delta Psi Kappa’s administrators.

History/Ritual, 1923-1980, is mostly comprised of various bound books on fraternity rituals and ceremonies, handwritten chapter histories, and various examination materials for new or prospective members. This series also includes instructions for special occasions including the installation of a new chapter and “Founder’s Day” celebrations. Also included are songbooks and sheet music for Delta Psi Kappa's various songs and anthems.

Individual Chapter Documents, 1919-1995, consists of chapter reports and other documents which were separated individually by chapter. This series also holds a subseries specifically focused Alumni chapters. The series also has a number of application for affiliations from various schools. Like many other series in the collection, there are noticeable gaps in terms of both time and chapters listed, but the series still gives a good look at chapter reports and information from the period listed above.

Correspondence, 1926-1996, this series focuses on correspondence from the period of 1926 to 1996. Most of the correspondence is between national officers and chapter officials or occasionally chapter members or alumni. Much of the series is labeled by the officer to whom it pertains most closely. The Executive and General Secretaries as well as various Province Directors come up frequently in the series.

Minutes/Meetings, 1925-1992, this series focuses on the minutes from various national and chapter meetings. These meetings include board meetings, executive meetings, as well as meetings from groups like the Inter-Fraternity Research and Advisory Council and the Women’s Professional Panhellenic Association.

Conferences, 1932-1990, this section focuses on conference and convention materials as well as reports. Most of this series is taken up by materials and reports from conventions that took place from the organization’s founding up through the 1990s. This series also has material on various smaller or irregular events such as an annual banquet and social gatherings around the organization’s biennial convention. While not entirely complete, as the earliest conventions are absent from the record, this series has the scope and depth to provide a clear picture on how Delta Psi Kappa’s conventions and conferences were run.

Photographs, 1919-1992, the focus of this series is on the collection’s photographs and other forms of visual media. Focusing mostly on conventions and meetings, the series is relatively small compared to the rest of the collection. The series also has pictures of various officers and chapter members, many of them from reunions, it also contains several large oversized photographs.

Audio-Visual and Digital Records, this section contains audio-visual materials from the Delta Psi Kappa Collection. This series includes several different audio-visual formats including cassette tapes, disks of various sizes, and other forms of media.

Artifacts and Oversized Materials, this series focuses on physical artifacts from the collection. These include a large scrapbook, a number of crests, and a cloth banner.


  • 1916 - 1999


Language of Materials

Materials are in English

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Historical Note

Delta Psi Kappa, was a professional organization which focused on the promotion of women in the field of physical education. Founded at the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union, its purpose was to nurture an advance the fields of health and physical education through fellowship, particularly among women. Founded by thirteen women from a local Indianapolis sorority, its ritual and crest were adopted on October 23, 1916. Delta Psi Kappa itself was granted a state charter on February 16, 1917. It then became affiliated with a number of organizations throughout its history. It accepted affiliation with the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1939. It was also associated with the Professional Panhellenic Association and was represented on the Executive Committee since 1937.

The fraternity held conventions biennially immediately prior to the “National Convention of the AAHPER. Between these meetings, the organization and running of the fraternity was handled by the National Council, which was composed of a president, vice-president, executive-secretary, Foil editor, and province director. Delta Psi Kappa also had an educational loan fund that was to be used by members for educational purposes. This was in addition to a Research Fellowship Fund which was awarded to a “woman doing an outstanding study in the field of health, physical education, and recreation”.

Delta Psi Kappa also made contributions to its field through the creation of several publications. These included an annual journal called “The Foil”, which included contributions from local chapters as well as professional leaders in the fields of health, physical education, and recreation. Another publication, “The Psi Kap Shield” was a newsletter which focused on the social and professional accomlishments of the organization's members. Published twice a year, it was mailed to all those with life memberships or who had paid annual dues.


36 Cubic Feet (20 Cartons, 10 Flat Boxes , 2 Newspaper Storage Boxes, 1 Folio Box, and 2 Media Boxes (5 cassettes and 2 diskettes))


Delta Psi Kappa was a “professional fraternity for women in the fields of health, physical education, and recreation”. Founded in 1916 at the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union, Delta Psi Kappa would eventually spread to a large number of other colleges and universities with programs in the aforementioned fields. Active into the 1990s, the organization remained focused on health and physical education and participated in numerous activities with other organizations who shared their goals.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and archives by Giles and Dolores Hoyt of the IUPUI German Department.



Estelle Gilman Public Relations Director (1946) Affiliated Organizations: VIII. Delta Psi Kappa, The Journal of Health and Physical Education, 17:8, 482-502.


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Delta Psi Kappa Records, 1916-1999
Processed by Rhys Weber
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Repository Details

Part of the German-American Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA