The scrapbook collection consists of scrapbooks maintained by 220 students totaling 296 volumes and documents the social and academic activities of Princeton undergraduates. By their very nature, scrapbooks are idiosyncratic, but generally they contain mementos relating to athletic events (such as tickets, programs, printed cheers, ribbons, and buttons), reunions, or life as a Princeton undergraduate. Items in this last category include senior questionnaires, exam questions, admission materials, posters, ephemera from social organizations and clubs, postcards, flyers, photographs, and letters. Frequently newspaper clippings, orchestra, opera, or play programs and tickets, pressed flowers, or three-dimensional items are found. Some scrapbooks include materials about Princeton University added after the individual graduated.
These scrapbooks, individually and in total, provide insight into undergraduate life at Princeton as they document what students valued enough to preserve. Also, the social history of the college is revealed as mementos of the full range of student life and the importance of athletics, drama, musical groups, journalism, travel, theatre, as well as academics are found. Because of the large number of scrapbooks from the 1870s through 1920, the changing interests and tastes of students over time are revealed.
The condition of the books vary greatly. Notable Princetonians whose scrapbooks are found in this collection include Hobey Baker, Ivy L. Lee, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Moses Taylor Pyne, John Hinsdale Scheide, and William Berryman Scott.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the University Archivist. Under the Copyright Law of 1976, any copyright to material found within these scrapbooks will expire on December 31, 2002. Researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright prior to that time.
Scrapbook Collection; 1843-1954 (mostly 1860-1920), Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.