Biography and History

The English Department of Princeton University was founded by University President Woodrow Wilson in 1904. Although courses in English and American literature had been offered at Princeton since as early as 1864, the Department flourished after Wilson's appointment of seven distinguished Preceptors of English in 1905. Since that time, Princeton has remained one of the top English faculties in the nation, recognized especially for its combined emphases on scholarship and teaching. Through the twentieth century the Department has been noted for its contributions to philology, literary history, American Studies, literary theory, and most recently, feminist scholarship and theory. Graduate study has been a major component of the Department's life since the foundation of the Graduate School (1901), and English has always remained one of the University's most popular undergraduate concentrations.

Source: From the finding aid for AC134

  • Department of English Records. 1872-2003 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC134

    The papers of Princeton University's English Department document the many varied aspects of one of Princeton's largest academic departments. With some writings that pre-date the Department's formal establishment in 1904, the collection includes faculty meeting and sub-committee minutes; faculty personnel papers and correspondence; the papers of many prominent faculty members, which include class lectures, syllabi, and original scholarship; records of departmental majors; student work; and scrapbooks of publicity and memorabilia about the Department, its faculty, staff, and students, both undergraduate and graduate.

  • Department of English Records. 1872-2003 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC134

    The papers of Princeton University's English Department document the many varied aspects of one of Princeton's largest academic departments. With some writings that pre-date the Department's formal establishment in 1904, the collection includes faculty meeting and sub-committee minutes; faculty personnel papers and correspondence; the papers of many prominent faculty members, which include class lectures, syllabi, and original scholarship; records of departmental majors; student work; and scrapbooks of publicity and memorabilia about the Department, its faculty, staff, and students, both undergraduate and graduate.

  • General Princeton Theater Collection. 1883-1998 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC385

    There are several well-known Princeton theatrical groups, but students and faculty have also organized many smaller groups over the decades, both short-term and long-lived. The collection consists of posters, programs, photographs, news clippings, and a very small amount of design and planning materials gathered about campus theatrical groups that are not already represented in dedicated archival collections.

  • Charles Grosvenor Osgood Papers. 1880-1962 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0540

    Consists of works, correspondence, documents, photographs, memorabilia, family papers, scrapbooks, and an autograph book (1880) of Charles Grosvenor Osgood, reflecting his role as one of Woodrow Wilson’s original preceptors (1905) and the importance of the preceptorial system at Princeton. The collection contains typed manuscripts of Osgood’s lectures on Milton, Spenser, and Samuel Johnson, addresses and note cards, and professional correspondence.