Princeton University Archives

Princeton University Archives

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345

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The External Views on Princeton series documents the opinions and views of non-Princetonians about Princeton University. Princeton has—almost since its founding—been a favorite subject of writers, artists, and filmmakers. Though it is often portrayed with admiration, it is also sometimes the subject of criticism or parody. This series also includes rankings of universities that include Princeton, things named for Princeton, and lists of Princetonians awarded non-Princeton prizes and awards. A large section of this series consists of newspaper and magazine articles about Princeton (the bulk of which date to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries). Because of the number of these that are oversize, an oversize run is included as part of the series. For media produced at Princeton or by Princetonians on subjects other than Princeton, see Series 24 (Multimedia). For other newspaper and magazine articles about specific time periods in Princeton's history, see the chronological section of Series 1 (General).
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Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series, 1726-1989
AC111
121 boxes 3 folders 6 items 328 digital files

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Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
The Grounds and Buildings Series of the Historical Photograph Collection contains photographs of the grounds and buildings owned by Princeton University. The photographs date from the late 1850s to the present, with the bulk of the photographs dating from the 1870s to the 1940s. Many of these photographs have been digitized and are searchable in Digital PUL.
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Subseries 8B, Manuscripts Relating to the Rittenhouse Orrery consists of letters and documents tracing the search for and restoration of the orrery; exhibition plans, display cards, and publicity releases related to the 1954 exhibition of the orrery; photographs of the Rittenhouse and other orreries; two notebooks, containing a "Documentary History of the Rittenhouse Orrery, 1767-1951" and "18th Century Orreries Before and After David Rittenhouse," with bibliographies; and notes and typescripts for Howard C. Rice's "The Rittenhouse Orrery" (1954), a narrative commentary on the exhibition. Also included are photostats of manuscript material, including letters by Thomas Jefferson and David Rittenhouse, lent to the Library for the exhibition by Elizabeth Sergeant Abbot, and lists of items borrowed from other sources.
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Princeton University Library Records, 1734-2017 (mostly 1952-1995)
AC123
634 boxes 5 folders 10 items 87 Volumes 1605 digital files 1 websites

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Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
The Princeton University Library is one of the foremost university libraries in the world. With collections totaling over 12 million volumes, manuscripts, and nonprint items spread across fifteen buildings, the Princeton University Library system serves not only the Princeton University community but the world at large. The Princeton University Library Records consist of the files of the University Librarian and other Library administrators and departments, as well as of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Materials in the record group include correspondence, reports, publications, clippings, minutes, press releases, proposals, statistics, photographs and other audiovisual materials, and microfilm. The records document the Library's day-to-day operations as well as its involvement with other departments on campus, other college and university libraries, and library users.
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Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
The Robert Judson Clark Papers consist of records pertaining to the architecture and grounds of Princeton University's campus and the surrounding area, compiled by professor emeritus Robert Judson Clark of the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.
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The subject files series contains records compiled about specific buildings on the Princeton campus and in the surrounding town, as well as other topics including Princeton's presidents, the architecture of other colleges, individual architects, and benefactors. The files consist of articles, newspaper clippings, copies of documents from the records of the University Archives, and in some cases photographs. In the case of some buildings, there are multiple files dedicated to certain periods in the building's history or to specific aspects of the building, such as the Nassau Hall faculty room and the Chapel organ. Notable among the subject files are a series of records dedicated to houses in the immediate area surrounding Princeton previously owned by University faculty or alumni.
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Series 4. Alumni, 1745-2010 36 boxes 18 folders 2 items

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This series documents the composition and activities of the alumni, the Alumni Council, and other alumni organizations. A large section at the beginning of this series documents the activities of the Alumni Council (the University-sponsored administrative arm of the Alumni Association), including Princeton reunions. Other topics include alumni organizations, occupations, regional associations, and long alphabetical runs on doubtful alumni (those individuals whose alumni status is in doubt) and alumni families (families who have sent more than one member to Princeton or who have been deeply involved in the University).
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Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
The Papers of William R. Weeks, Esq., consist of three folders of material researched and correspondence written for the furtherance of a book on Princeton University's early history Weeks planned to write. The title of the book was to be, "History of the First Endowment of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University." It is highly doubtful that the book was ever written; there is no copy of it on record.
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This sub-subseries is comprised of material associated with Leitch's service as University Secretary (1936-1966). Included are discussions and contacts with various committees on which Leitch served, exchanges with other educational institutions, interactions with trustees and other individuals, and involvement with Princeton municipal government. In addition, New Jersey associations and committees figure prominently in this subseries. Also included are discussions of Princeton's involvement with educational radio programming, including some of the original literature used to explore the feasibility of pursuing regularly scheduled educational programs. The subseries contains a copy of Leitch's pamphlet "How to Get the Most Out of a Princeton Education," files on distinguished visitors to the campus, historical information about the University, and a list of "Princeton Men Who Founded Other Institutions." The wide range of material reflects the very visible and central role into which the Office of the Secretary evolved. Folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of an individual, committee, organization, or topic.
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The Julian Parks Boyd subseries contains the records of Julian Parks Boyd, who was Princeton's University Librarian 1940-1952. His tenure was a period of immense growth in the Library, both in terms of collections and facilities. As with the records of earlier University Librarians, these records contain correspondence and subject files pertaining to acquisitions, budgets, and other routine administrative matters. This series is also notable however for its illustration of the Library's growing importance to the University, as conveyed by the records which pertain to the planning and construction of Firestone Library, found primarily in the Cooperative Committee on Library Buildings files (Box 26-27).
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Jonathan Dickinson, born in 1688 and graduated from Yale College in 1706, was the first president of the College of New Jersey. After becoming the pastor of the Congregational church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, Dickinson shifted from Congregational to Presbyterian teachings in order to join the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Yet while becoming a leader within the Presbytery and the higher Synod of Philadelphia, Dickinson steadfastly maintained his belief in the freedom of the individual clergy. Having first envisioned an educational institute within the Synod, Dickinson only realized his dream of founding a school to train future Presbyterian ministers and pious laymen when he and others founded the College of New Jersey in 1746. Dickinson died in office in October 1747.
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The courses and projects series consists of records documenting the courses Clark taught on the topic of Princeton architecture as well as his participation in the Evolution of a Campus project, a dissertation he advised, and a book he proposed to write. The records of Clark's classes include student papers, syllabi, classroom handouts, and a small amount of correspondence. The Evolution of a Campus records consist primarily of financial records as well as preliminary tests of the three-dimensional modeling software and some correspondence.
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The demonstrations series documents the protests, strikes, and riots coordinated by or chiefly involving members of the Princeton University community (sometimes only students, but often including faculty and staff as well). Many early demonstrations, such as the 1800 riot, were the result of student unhappiness over the rules of an intransigent administration, such as the "unreasonable" mandatory daily 6am chapel services, which were extremely cold in the winter. Not all protests, however, involved significant internal dissention. In 1970, students, faculty, and administration largely came together to declare a strike against President Richard Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia.
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Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
This collection contains records relating to Princeton University presidents from Jonathan Dickinson, who served in this capacity from 1746 to 1747, to Harold W. Dodds, whose tenure spanned the period from 1933 to 1957. It brings together both primary and secondary materials pertaining to individual presidents as well as the office of the president itself. The Princeton University Presidents' Records document the lives and accomplishments of each president with varying completeness, as well as the functions of their office.
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The University Librarian series contains the records of the various individuals who have held the position and provide an overview of the Library's historical development from the vantage point of one of the few roles that have remained relatively static throughout the Library's entire existence. As the chief administrator of the Library, the University Librarian is involved to some extent in nearly every aspect of the institution's planning and evolution. This is especially true in the earlier years of the Library when activities later undertaken by separate departments were somewhat more centralized around the Librarian. Such diversity of purpose is represented in the University Librarian records themselves, which primarily contain correspondence, subject files, and other documentation relating to topics as varied as collection development, finances, fundraising, organizational and staff matters, and university policy. Please see subseries descriptions for further information regarding the individual subseries.
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Series 1. General, 1746-2019 4 boxes 1 folder 2 items

The General series contains documents, clippings, and correspondence about each decade in Princeton's history from its founding until the present. The series consists of material that can neither be filed in any one other series nor in the chronologically arranged portion of the historical subject files. The files of Keeper of Princetoniana Frederic Fox, for example, include his notes on various aspects of Princeton life and history. Campus maps and general campus views can also be found here. Themed campus tours include views of Princeton in 1865, as well as tours focusing on trees and gargoyles.
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Historical Subject Files Collection, 1746-2019
AC109
441 boxes 21 folders 8 items

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Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
The Historical Subject Files Collection documents Princeton University history and related topics from 1746 to the present. The collection consists of documents in almost every two-dimensional format: articles, books and booklets, clippings, correspondence, memoranda, non-photographic images, notes, pamphlets, posters, and reports.
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Board of Trustees Records, 1746-2021
AC120
76 boxes 1 folder 377 Volumes

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Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
This collection provides the most basic source of information about Princeton University's governing body. In addition to minutes of the Trustees' meetings, the collection contains related papers and reports, organized according to purpose.
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Subseries 5H: Trustees Records, 1747-1888, consists of minutes, resolutions, legal proceedings and correspondence concerning activities of the Board of Trustees. Most of the documents fall within the latter half of the 18th century. These papers are of a general nature, often dealing with relatively minor matters, and should be used in conjunction with other more substantive Trustee holdings at the Princeton University Archives. Some of the more significant documents here include a recommendation by the Trustees that the College be located at "Prince Town" and that Robert and William Tennent, Richard Treat, Samuel Blair and Samuel Finley be appointed to the Board of Trustees; a copy of the 1748 Charter; bills of fare for Trustees dinners, 1769 and 1771; duties of the College Treasurer (1774); and a Trustee resolution upon the resignation of President McCosh (1888.) There is also a list of the papers and documents belonging to the Trustees (1795).
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Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
The Pyne-Henry Collection is a diverse group of documents, letters and writings relating to Princeton University, covering an array of topics primarily concerning student life and administrative activities. The collection consists of letters, essays and orations, reports, memoranda, minutes, proclamations, accounts and class lists, and other documents written by students, faculty and administrators which, along with other administrative records and Trustee Minutes, constitute the earliest records and documentary history of the University. Most of these papers and records were amassed by Princeton alumni Moses Taylor Pyne (Class of 1877) and Bayard Henry (Class of 1876) during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
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Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Jonathan Belcher, was a merchant and colonial governor of the Provinces of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey and was instrumental in the founding of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). The Jonathan Belcher Collection consists of collected research materials regarding Jonathan Belcher's relation to the history of Princeton University and consist of correspondence, articles, clippings, and copies of original materials from Belcher collections held at Princeton and elsewhere.
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James McCosh was the first president since John Witherspoon who was not an alumnus of the College of New Jersey. Many similarities have been noted between the two men. Both were born in Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. Witherspoon was inaugurated in 1768, and McCosh was inaugurated one hundred years later in 1868. They died one hundred years apart, almost to the day, and like all presidents until Woodrow Wilson, both were ministers.
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Box 36
The Pennsylvania Gazette
The Pennsylvania Gazette, November 3, 1748. The front page includes a letter from the Trustees of the College of New Jersey to New Jersey Governor Jonathan Belcher thanking him for granting the second charter for the institution, as well as a response to the letter by Governor Belcher.