By 1835, two literary societies had been formed at Newark College: the Athenaen and the Delta Phi. Literary societies were common at nineteenth century colleges and served both an intellectual and social role in students' lives. These societies shared some aspects with modern fraternities.
The pins displayed here were owned by a number of society members throughout the 19th century. The two Athenaen pins were owned by Robert P. Johnson, 1842 and Samuel B Cleaver, 1843. Delta Phi pins were owned by Samuel A. Strickle, 1842, George Biddle, 1855, Joseph Roop, 1857, Charles M. Curtis, 1877 and Victor B. Wooley, 1884.