Princeton University History

The Princeton University Archives consists of over 15,000 linear feet of records including administration records (presidents, provosts, deans, and department records, faculty files, undergraduate and graduate alumni files); photographs and other audiovisual materials; and publications that document the history of Princeton University. The University Archives is also the repository for Princeton senior theses and doctoral dissertations.

Additional historical information about Princeton University

Alexander Leitch's A Princeton Companion (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978) contains biographies of University presidents, trustees, deans, noted alumni, and prominent professors. Other topics include academic department histories, athletics, campus buildings, research, and student activities. This resource is available online and is searchable by keyword.

A host of historical facts about Princeton University are available online through the University's main web page.  In addition to A Princeton Companion, researchers will find links that provide further details on the Presidents of Princeton University, Princeton's History, the Princetoniana Committee, and information on the American Revolution and Princeton.

The Daily Princetonian Archives are available online as well.

Collections with Divisional Holdings

  • Alexander Leitch Football notes collection

    Consists of extensive notes taken by Alexander Leitch as background for the
    \Football\ entry of his encyclopedia A Princeton
    Companion, including the reproduced anecdotes of several early football
    players, clippings, and a bibliography.

  • Memorabilia Collection

    The clothing group includes handkerchiefs, hatbands, and neckties. Dishware includes plates, mugs, beer cans, and bottles, as well as ashtrays, cigarette cases, and class day pipes. The grounds and building memorabilia contains pieces of buildings, keys, and bells. Sports is comprised of tickets, trophies, awards, and cups. (Some of the larger silver cups listed on the item list are stored in the vault. These are designated with a V in the box category.) Series E has medals, patches, and pins, ribbons. Series F includes stamps, pins, a plaque and an umbrella.

  • U.S.S. Princeton [C.V.L.-23] Collection

    Consists of research materials for the book Carrier Down: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Princeton (1990), co-authored by Thomas I. Bradshaw and Marsha L. Clark.

  • Historical Subject Files Collection

    The Historical Subject Files documents Princeton University history and related topics from 1746 to the present. The collection consists of documents in almost every two-dimensional format: articles, books and booklets, clippings, correspondence, memoranda, non-photographic images, notes, pamphlets, posters, and reports.

  • School of Engineering and Applied Science Records

    The School of Engineering and Applied Science Records document Princeton University's engineering program from its origins in the Departments of Civil and Electrical Engineering to the present day. The bulk of the records are those of the Office of the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science; however, all of the major Departments save Computer Science and Operations Research and Financial Engineering are represented as well. Also included in this collection are the records of the Princeton Engineering Association, the school's main alumni organization.

  • Princeton Municipal Improvement, Inc. records

    Consists of records which document the efforts of Princeton Municipal Improvement, Inc. in the midst of its Palmer Square development project. Included are financial statements, meeting minutes, and some correspondence.

  • Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences Records

    The records document the department from its 19th century origins to the recent past with departmental files, faculty files, faculty meeting minutes and visual materials. In Series 2, a variety of materials document significant figures in the department such as Arnold Guyot, Richard Field, and William B. Scott, as well as curriculum development and related matters. A consistent run of faculty meeting minutes in Series 4 provides a detailed picture of the department’s development over the course of the 20th century.

  • General Princeton Theater Collection

    The collection consists of materials gathered about campus theatrical groups that are
    not already represented in dedicated archival collections. The materials include
    posters, programs, photographs, news clippings, a single VHS videocassette, and a
    very small amount of design and planning materials. The collection also contains
    clippings about performances of the Princeton University Program in Theater and

  • Princeton University Diploma Collection

    Consists of 213 original diplomas and photostats, including executed diplomas as well as blank, sample or
    spoiled diplomas.

  • Office of the Registrar Records

    The Office of the Registrar Records document the role and responsibilities of the University Registrar as they pertain to the student population of Princeton University and to the University administration and community as a whole. Included are the academic records of individual students at the graduate and undergraduate level, subject files on topics related to admissions and matriculation, statistics, and official documents issued by the Office of the Registrar such as examination schedules.

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