The Oriental Club of Philadelphia was founded in 1888 by a group of scholars and other prominent intellectuals in the Philadelphia area in order to provide a forum for the exchange of academic ideas and new findings about the cultures of South and East Asia and the Near East. Fields of study represented by members in the early days of the club included Sanskrit, the Ancient Near East, Judaica, and the art and archaeology of Asia. Founding members included Cyrus Adler, Tatsui Baba, George Dana Boardman, Stewart Culin, Morton W. Easton, Paul Haupt, Edward Washburn Hopkins, Marcus Jastrow, Morris Jastrow Jr., Benjamin Smith Lyman, Robert W. Rogers, Mayer Sulzberger, Henry Clay Trumbull, and Talcott Williams. (Click here for more on the OC’s history.)
To this day, the OC is a forum for the academic exchange of ideas about the literature and languages of all parts of the Asian continent. The OC is an autonomous organization, which includes members from multiple area universities. The OC brings together scholars in the Greater Philadelphia area (from DE to NY) who approach their topics from a variety of different perspectives, including History, Art History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Gender Studies. Members include faculty and staff of universities and museums in the Philadelphia area, emeritus faculty, and graduate students.