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

  • Jonathan Belcher Collection

    The Jonathan Belcher Collection consists of collected research materials regarding
    Jonathan Belcher's relation to the history of Princeton University. The papers
    consist of correspondence, articles, clippings, and copies of original materials from
    Belcher collections held at Princeton and elsewhere. Topics covered include Belcher's
    contributions to the foundations of the college library, the preservation of the

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ralph Barton Perry Papers

    The Ralph Barton Perry Papers consist of correspondence, speeches, clippings, and
    other materials documenting Ralph Barton Perry's life as an alumnus of the Class of
    1896. Nearly all of the documents in some way relate to Princeton. Typical topics
    discussed in correspondence include speeches that Perry gave at Princeton or
    contributed to the Princeton Alumni Weekly, as well as upcoming reunions and Barton's
    published work.

  • Historical Audiovisual Collection

    This collection has been divided into 21 broad topics, however, two comprise over
    half of the collection, having 500 items each: Music and
    Lectures/Addresses/Forums/Debates. The musical material is composed of record albums
    and magnetic tapes of performances by the Nassoons, the Princeton Tigertones,
    Tigertown Five, The Triangle Club Jazz Band, undergraduate and graduate composers,
    the Princeton University Orchestra, Glee Club, Chapel Choir, and the Smith-Princeton

  • China Famine Relief Fund records

    Consists of financial records, receipts for gifts made to the fund, announcements, staff lists, and correspondence with other organizations working towards famine relief in China.

  • Eating Clubs Records

    The Eating Club Records consists of records of individual eating clubs as well as material on Eating Clubs in general. Contained in the records are correspondence, reports, minutes, financial statements, constitutions, clippings, newsletters, club membership books, and club histories.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Undergraduate Academic Files

    Consists of individual files of former and current undergraduate students of
    Princeton University, containing grades, transcripts, and other information relating
    to the subject's academic career.

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