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

  • Grover Cleveland Collection

    The Grover Cleveland Collection consists of collected research materials regarding Grover Cleveland, his life in Princeton, and his relation to the University. The papers document a variety of topics both broad in nature (his work as a Trustee) and highly specific (a Venezualan table he received as a gift). Also in the collection are letters sent to the University by early researchers inquiring about Cleveland, facsimiles of speeches, and files on other biographical topics such as Cleveland's birthplace, gravesite, and family members.

  • Princeton Student Aid Association records

    Consists of the minutes, financial records, by-laws, and correspondence of the
    Princeton Student Aid Association and its predecessor, the Princeton Charitable
    Institution.

  • Department of Sociology Records

    This collection consists of seven research reports written by faculty members in the 1960s. Research subjects include family life in modern Turkey, phrase structure grammar, econimic cooperation and the mining industry in Liberia, and antisemitism in Wetstern Europe.

  • Phi Beta Kappa Records

    This collection contains reports, constitutions, by-laws, minutes, lists of
    members, and correspondence of the Princeton chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The
    correspondence relates mostly to administrative matters – replacement of lost
    keys, membership enquiries, and invitations to various organizational
    functions.

  • Woodrow Wilson Foundation Records

    The collection consists of the administrative records of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. By far the bulk of the collection includes financial records, correspondence, notes, committee minutes, press releases, research proposals, and awards that document the foundation's activities from its inception and initial fundraising in 1921 through the beginning of the Papers of Woodrow Wilson project in 1963, although the collection also includes a few binders of annual meeting minutes and reports through 1987.

  • Consortium for Assistance to the University of Petroleum and Minerals records

    Consists of financial materials, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, and a copy of the Consortium agreement.

  • Office of Development Communications Records

    Consists of photographs, promotional materials and VHS tapes created for fundraising activities and publications. Most of the photographs are from development-related events such as the 1995 kickoff celebration of the Anniversary Campaign. Some are reproductions of photographs found in other collections held by the Princeton University Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Promotional materials document the initiation of the Aspire campaign and several building dedications.

  • Theatre Intime Records

    Consists of the records of Princeton’s Theatre Intime, from its beginning in 1919 to the present, including typescripts, production books, photographs, business records, playbills, posters, masks, costume and set designs, and miscellaneous material. The collection also contains a bound manuscript and recordings of interviews conducted for I ALSO SWEPT THE FLOOR (1974), a history of Theatre Intime written by John Kendall as his senior thesis.

  • Arthur Cort Holden Papers

    Consists of personal papers and correspondence of Arthur Cort Holden. The bulk of the
    material is non-professional in nature and is related to personal financial matters
    such as insurance and investments. Also included are printing invoices and
    correspondence pertaining to several of Holden's works including SONNETS FOR MY CITY
    (1965) and AT THE ROOTS OF THE URBAN CRISIS (1970).

  • James Penrose Harland papers

    From the time he was 15 years old until several years before his death in 1973, James Penrose Harland maintained a diary, journal, or daily log in which he recorded a few notes about each day's events. These yearly volumes, written in his own hand, comprise the bulk of the collection. Also included are clippings, photographs, postcards, and some correspondence.

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