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

  • Arthur J. Horton Collection on Coeducation

    Since these are the records of one member of the committee–a member with a particular perspective–this collection will not give an unbiased view of the coeducation debate at Princeton. Since Horton wrote many letters and saved them all, the collection clearly presents his participation in the committee's work and his opposition to coeducation.

  • John Cobb Cooper papers

    The collection is composed of correspondence and other materials pertaining to Cooper's activities as Curator of Class Records and as an active member of the Friends of the Library and the Graduate Council. In particular, the materials document the collection development efforts of the Friends of the Library Maps Committee; the proceedings of the Graduate Council's Executive Committee and the Committee on Departmental Advisory Councils; and Cooper's participation in university fundraising efforts and in the establishment of the Industrial Relations Section.

  • Princeton University Class Records

    The Class Records consist of a diverse set of materials documenting the history and activities of Princeton University classes during their time as undergraduates and as alumni. In the collection are correspondence, newsletters, publications, photographs, and memorabilia, all of which pertain to a particular Princeton University graduating class and its members.The most common type of material in the collection is class secretary records consisting of correspondence to individual classmates.

  • Harrington DeGoyler Green Letters

    The correspondence begins in the summer of 1906 when Harrington DeGoyler Green was attending a summer camp in Pointe au Baril, Ontario, Canada, and describes various recreational activities such as sailing. The collection contains letters and postcards written while Green was vacationing in Europe in the summer of 1908 with his older brother Joseph Coy Green. He describes his perceptions of and experiences in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and England.The bulk of the letters were written when Green was an undergraduate student at Princeton University.

  • Princeton Crusader Fellowship records

    Consists of member lists, constitutions, speeches, articles, newsletters, and
    correspondence of the Princeton Crusader Fellowship. Also included is a bound
    autograph book, signed by most members of the organization from its founding until
    1976 and featuring pictures of some of the more recent members.

  • Design in America Conference Records

    Consists of one bound volume containing the program schedule of the Design in America
    Conference, lists of those who participated, and a copy of each paper presented at
    the conference.

  • Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students Records

    The records of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students contain correspondence with other administrators and students, memoranda, press releases, subject files of clippings and notes, pamphlets, and brochures. As a high-level University administrator, some of this material is duplicated in other University Archives collections. The records primarily document the Dean's supervision of student organizations and participation on committees; however, there are also files dedicated to disciplinary infractions, athletics, and almost any topic which in some way pertains to students.

  • University Land Records

    The University Land Records consist of deeds, mortgages, bonds, other legal papers, and maps concerning the acquisition, disposition, or description of University properties. Most of the papers are original though some photocopies are present.

  • Corporate and Foundation Relations Records,

    The collection includes annual reports (1980-1997), department statistics
    (1988-1993), and campaign status reports (1981-1985).

  • Roy Heath Class of 1954 Advisee Project Interviews

    The collection comprises materials related to a study that Heath, a clinical psychologist, conducted on 36 members of the Class of 1954 during their years at Princeton. Most of the documents are transcriptions of interviews Heath conducted with the students on a regular basis. The students are coded by number, but Heath provided a list to enable individuals to be identified once the collection is opened in 2035.

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