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Modern scholarship has come to appreciate the importance of the history of education as a source for studies of reading and literacy, the transmission of ideas, social history, and many other subjects. Once the preserve of schools of education or the avocation of professionals in the field, the subject is now the focus of mainstream historians.
To honor the 34 cabinet members during his tenure as president of Princeton University, Harold T. Shapiro, with his wife, Dr. Vivian B. Shapiro, enabled the Library to form a collection of books and manuscripts related to the history of education. These supplement acquisitions made from the nineteenth century to the present. Both books and manuscripts, some annotated, are included. A listing of these first purchases was published in the Spring 2002 issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle [ full text]
In 2004, the collection was supplemented by the acquisition of 320 books from Savoy Books. Focusing on the theory and practice of education -- primarily in America -- it included books, pamphlets, broadsides and manuscript materials.