Biography and History

The Department of French and Italian as it exists today at Princeton University originated in 1958 when the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures was split into the separate departments of Romance and Germanic Languages and Literatures. Prior to this, the Romance languages had been taught by a succession of notable instructors since 1904 including Christian Gauss and Gilbert Chinard. In the years after the Second World War, global climate inspired curriculum changes, resulting in courses in Russian and eventually the formation of a full Department of Slavic Languages in 1961. This period also saw the creation of Peace Corps and study abroad language programs. Course offerings in Italian were strengthened in the 1980s, however by the 1990's, with many of the core department members facing retirement, the attraction of new faculty was becoming a pressing issue. Finally, in 2001 Spanish and Portuguese languages were made an independent department and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures became the Department of French and Italian.

Source: From the finding aid for AC219

  • Department of French and Italian Records. 1909-1985 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC219

    The Department of French and Italian as it exists today at Princeton University originated in 1958 when the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures was split into the separate departments of Romance and Germanic Languages and Literatures. Consists of the records of the contemporary Department of French and Italian, collected while it was operating as the Department of Modern Languages and later the Department of Romance Languages and Literature.

  • Department of French and Italian Records. 1909-1985 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC219

    The Department of French and Italian as it exists today at Princeton University originated in 1958 when the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures was split into the separate departments of Romance and Germanic Languages and Literatures. Consists of the records of the contemporary Department of French and Italian, collected while it was operating as the Department of Modern Languages and later the Department of Romance Languages and Literature.