Book and Snake
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2008)|
The Society of Book and Snake is the fourth oldest secret society at Yale University. Book and Snake was founded at the Sheffield Scientific School in 1863 as a three-year society bearing the Greek letters Sigma Delta Chi . As other "Sheff" societies, it was once residential and maintained a separate residential "cloister" at 1 Hillhouse Ave, which was built in 1888 and deeded to Yale after the institution of the residential college system. The building is today the university provost's office. A plaque honoring the society can be found on the first floor of the building.
Like other landed Yale societies, Book and Snake owns its own meeting hall, or "tomb." As is traditional with the meeting places of Yale societies, the building is windowless and available only to the current members and alumni; parties have been held that include friends of members, however.
Architects of the Book & Snake Buildings
- Louis R. Metcalfe. (1901, Greek Ionic. The front door is modeled after the Erechtheion Temple on the Acropolis in Athens. Passersby will notice wrought-iron snakes, or "caduceuses" adorning the iron fence surrounding the property. The white marble temple, startling in its Classical Greek verisimilitude, is deliberately situated with its back to the Yale campus; instead its orientation facing directly across the street to the massive Egyptian-revival gates of the Grove Street Cemetery, makes for an impressive display of ancient, mortuary-themed solemnity. Citation at .) Their emblem is a book surrounded by the ouroboros.
- J. Edwards Ficken. (1888, residential hall known as "Cloister". Citation and picture at  and at .)
Architectural historian Scott Meacham cites both of Book & Snake's buildings in his study of Yale and Dartmouth society and fraternity architecture.  Also, references in architectural historian Patrick L. Pinnell's 1999 book "Yale University" 1999 Princeton Architectural Press ISBN 1-56898-167-8 .) Also pictured in