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

  • Office of Communications Records

    The Office of Communications Records document a wide range of public University activities and dealings. Most files contain press releases, clippings of University publicity and outside press coverage, and, in some cases, correspondence. Subjects include regular University business as well as special events, University policies, individual departments, faculty members, student activities and life, and dealings with alumni and donors. The records also contain large numbers of photographs and contact prints created by Office of Communication staff photographers.

  • Committee on the Education of Women at Princeton Records

    The Committee on the Education of Women at Princeton Records contain correspondence, subject files, drafts, notes, and research materials that were generated and accumulated during the time Gardner Patterson was Chair of the Committee and a member of the subsequently appointed Ad-Hoc Committee. The records also contain one copy of the final report, \The Education of Women at Princeton,\ which was produced by the committee.

  • 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.

  • Annual Reports to the President

    Consists of the collected reports to the President prepared annually by each
    academic department and administrative office. The reports detail progress on
    departmental projects, curriculum developments, faculty and staff changes, and
    departmental spending. Reports for the academic years 1940-41 through 1995-96
    are bound in volumes. In subsequent years, the reports are housed in boxes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Princeton Scientific Expeditions Collection

    The manuscript, printed and photographic materials in the collection are duly
    noted in the folder descriptions. Folders labeled as “Archival description and
    notes” contain information on the expeditions randomly gathered by the compiler
    of this collection, with pertinent xeroxes and relevant correspondence that
    document each expedition. The geological expeditions are most fully represented.
    The journeys of other categories are noted by scant documentation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Patrick J. Kelleher Papers

    Consists of correspondence, publications, notes, press releases, schedules, and photographs collected by Patrick J. Kelleher over the course of his directorship of the Princeton University Art Museum. Also included are syllabi and course materials from a museology seminar Kelleher taught, and awards received from other museums and institutions.

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