The "Eleusinian Mysteries" was the initiation ritual for incoming first year students at Barnard from 1890 until the late 1920's. At first students, dressed in flowing robes, gathered in a dignified procession and swore an oath of loyalty to the College in Greek. The "Mysteries Book" contained the accumulated wit and wisdom regarding professor's foibles and other collegiate topics. Each class would add to the book and present it to the incoming class at the ritual. Later, activities became more raucous. As the school became larger, the ceremony was discontinued.
Manuscript volume, containing humorous poems about professors, rankings of professors, and other humorous writings about Barnard and correspondence dated 1931 transmitting the book to Barnard archives. Of note is a poem by poet Babette Deutsch, Barnard Class of 1917.
Photocopies and other reproductions may be purchased at cost.
Eleusinian Mysteries Book, Barnard College Archives.