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

  • C. Bernard Shea collection on Princeton University Athletics

    This collection consists of Princeton University athletics statistics and newspaper clippings compiled by C. Bernard Shea between 1901 and 1950. A number of sports are represented however the bulk of the materials are related to football. Also included is a copy of Intercollegiate Football, A Complete Pictorial and Statistical Review 1869-1934 edited by Christy Walsh.

  • “Old Nassau” Collection

    This collection contains early scores and lyrics to Princeton University's alma mater “Old Nassau” as well as information about the song and the men who created it. Included are biographical information pertaining to the lives of the song's composer and lyricist, both before and after 1859. Other materials were assembled by Wilford Conrow (Class of 1901) as research for the publication Old Nassau (1905), a book containing the original song and its variations and several related essays.

  • William S. Dix Papers

    The William S. Dix Papers document Dix's professional life outside of his career as Princeton's University Librarian, with the bulk of the documentation focusing on Dix's service as a member of the United States National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Research Libraries. The papers primarily contain correspondence; however, reports, meeting minutes, and articles are also included.Please see series descriptions in the contents list for additional information about individual series.

  • Admission Office Records

    Consists of a documentary record of Princeton University admission policy divided
    into chronological timeframes and includes material such as entrance exams and
    requirements, press releases, admission booklets, pamphlets, reports, sample
    correspondence and statistics. Series 5, Confidential Reports and Minutes
    (Redacted), 1931-1969, consists of reports and minutes that were selected and

  • Nassau Hall War Memorial records

    The records document the planning and execution of the memorial to Princeton students of the Second World War, including pictures, preliminary lists of honorees, correspondence with parents and campus groups, and programs from the memorial's unveiling ceremony. Also included is some information about other war memorials in Nassau Hall.

  • Steve M. Slaby Papers

    Consists primarily of memoranda and correspondence of Slaby and departmental records (such as annual reports, committee minutes, and conference materials) and course materials (such as lecture notes, examinations, problem sets, and student papers) of Princeton University's Graphics and Engineering Drawing Department. Also included are materials which document Slaby's involvement in political issues of the 1960s and 1970s.

  • James Magnuson papers

    Consists of drafts of five short plays by James Magnuson, as well as clippings, correspondence, and notes.

  • Princeton University Women's Organization Records

    Consists of clippings, correspondence, reports, and studies pertaining to issues such as tenure, staff relations, and student recruitment. Though undergraduates were allowed to be members of PUWO the majority of the material reports on matters affecting University faculty and staff.

  • Department of Classics records

    Consists of the records of the Department of Classics from the late 19th and early 20th century. Materials include three bound volumes containing the minutes of the graduate classics club, the classical seminary, and departmental reports. Also in the collection are bound senior theses from 1894-1910, and correspondence of the classics department graduate committee.

  • Princeton Playgoers, Inc. records

    Consists of financial records, correspondence, records of ticket sales,
    advertisements, contracts, and other materials documenting the planning and
    production of plays at McCarter Theatre in the summer of 1942.



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