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

  • Special Committee on the Structure of the University Records

    Consists primarily of correspondence, memoranda, and reports generated by Stanley Kelley, Chair of the Special Committee on the Structure of the
    University. Background material on student organization, the Institute for Defense Analysis, and numerous facets of college governance rounds out
    the collection.

  • Holland Donan, Class of 1951, Papers

    Consists of newspaper clippings, correspondence, and photographs relating to Donan’s football career at Princeton and his 1984 induction into the National Football Hall of Fame. Also included is a Princeton Varsity mug inscribed with Donan’s name.

  • Princeton University Rowing Collection

    Consists of photographs, memorabilia, scrapbooks, programs, correspondence and
    posters documenting the history of the Princeton University rowing program. Much
    of the material is oversized.

  • Daily Princetonian Photographs Collection

    Consists of images created for use in the Daily Princetonian. Includes both photographs that were printed in the paper and unpublished shots. Series 2: Digital Images, 2002-2004 also contains a small number of digitally-created illustrations.

  • George R. Beach Princeton Football Scrapbooks Collection

    Consists of bound scrapbooks assembled by George R. Beach documenting Princeton's
    football team. The scrapbooks contain game programs as well as articles from the
    Princeton Alumni Weekly and other local papers. Each
    scrapbook is arranged chronologically and covers a period of 1 to 3 seasons.

  • Bicentennial of the American Revolution Committee Records

    Documents the organization and activities of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution Committee. Included are correspondence, proposals, reports, and meeting minutes. The bulk of the material was assembled by committee member James Banner.

  • Princeton Listening Center Records

    The Records of the Princeton Listening Center consist of transcripts of Axis and Allied propaganda broadcasts monitored by the Listening Center staff from November 1939 through May 1941 until the operations of the Center were taken over by the Federal Communications Commission of the United States government. Also included are subject and research files of the organization, as well as reports published by the members.

  • Office of the Provost Records

    Though the records of the Office of the Provost contain some material that is duplicated in other University record groups (such as those of the Office of the President and the dean of the faculty), there are specific subjects that this collection documents especially well. The provost (rather than the president) has primary responsibility for oversight of the University's affirmative action programs, computing, the University Library, the Art Museum, and the Plasma Physics Lab, which results in extensive documentation of these topics.

  • William G. Bowen Collection on the Federal Government and Princeton University

    Consists of notes and research materials compiled by William G. Bowen for use in his study The Federal Government and Princeton University, a report on the complex funding and research relationships between the two institutions. The notes reflect interviews Bowen conducted with faculty and staff. A copy of his final report and a paper published by the U.S. Congress on a similar subject are also included.

  • WPRB Records

    The records consist of various materials which document the origins and development
    of WPRB, including constitutions, by-laws, photographs, membership lists, clipped
    articles, board minutes, correspondence, and financial reports.The records are especially illustrative in their documentation of the station's
    beginnings. Nearly every piece of correspondence from station member H. Grant Theis
    is preserved, often with his own retrospective commentary attached. There are also

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