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

  • Princeton University Library Records

    The Princeton University Library Records consists of the files of the University Librarian and other Library administrators and departments, as well as of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Materials in the record group include correspondence, reports, publications, clippings, minutes, press releases, proposals, statistics, photographs and other audiovisual materials, and microfilm.

  • Lecture Notes Collection

    The lecture notes in this collection represent over 200 years of student efforts
    to record the knowledge and insights presented by Princeton's distinguished
    faculty. Starting with the notes on John Witherspoon's lecture on Moral
    Philosophy in 1772 taken by Thaddeus Dod, Class of 1773, the collection
    concludes with the 1974 notes of Joel Niemi, Class of 1976, for Professor Robert

  • Historical Photograph Collection: Individuals series

    Consists of photographs of notable visitors to Princeton University. Also included are some images of staff.

  • War Service Bureau Records

    Consists of the records of the Bureau. Included in the documentation are biographical, military, and school-related information; correspondence between students and University staff, faculty, and students; and subject files from the Bureau’s office. While there are only information cards for Class of 1943 members, there are individual folders for most men in the Classes of 1944 through 1949. There are also questionnaires (see restrictions) containing academic and personal information, and issues of TIGER TALES, the Bureau’s monthly newsletter.

  • Council of the Princeton University Community Records

    Material in the collections consists of minutes of meetings, reports, and correspondence produced by CPUC and its subsidiary committees. In addition, transcripts of judicial hearings as well as accompanying audio tapes of the hearings are included.

  • Princetoniana Collection

    The Princetoniana Collection is a set of over 1000 books, manuscripts, pamphlets, papers, and other collected materials relating to Princeton University. Nearly every aspect of the University's life from the time of its founding to the modern era is represented to some degree in the Princetoniana Collection. Historical surveys, biographies, and University releases such as the Official Register and the Nassau Herald are all represented in the Princetoniana Collection.

  • Frederick H. Osborn Papers

    The files relate exclusively to Princeton. They include correspondence and reports
    related to Osborn's service as a charter trustee and member of various advisory
    committees, during which time one major project was the commissioning of a
    Carnegie-funded “Study of Education at Princeton University.” Also detailed is
    Osborn's later work on the computerization of the University data files for the
    improvement of the admissions process.

  • Senior Thesis Collection

    The collection contains the senior theses of Princeton undergraduates. Not every senior thesis completed by a Princeton student is represented in this collection, as some science-related theses are held at the Lewis Library. Most of the senior theses remain in their original format, however select volumes have been converted to microfiche.

  • Athletic Programs Collection

    Consists of printed Princeton University athletic programs for football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and other sports, with football predominant. †b The programs, especially the earlier ones, provide a sweeping view of Princeton's athletic history, documenting not only team statistics and scores, but the players, the venues in which the teams competed, social aspects of advertising, and the evolution of the various games. Other sports represented in this collection include fencing, gymnastics, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, squash, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, and wrestling.

  • Office of the President Records : Jonathan Dickinson to Harold W. Dodds Subgroup

    The content of this collection varies markedly over time. The eighteenth and
    early nineteenth-century presidents' records are typically secondary sources
    such as clippings or letters written by others, most of which long postdate the
    lifetimes of the men to whom they refer. In a few instances, primary material in
    the form of correspondence, financial records, and sermons exists. The early

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