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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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Princeton University Library Collection of Princeton University Materials, 1746-1983

C1352 6 boxes 2 linear feet
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Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Consists of an assembled collection of correspondence, documents, and manuscripts related to Princeton University, its students, and its employees, some in an official capacity and others as personal or family records of those associated with Princeton University, or the College of New Jersey as it was known prior to the end of the 19th century. Materials span from the 1740s until the 1980s, though most pertain to the mid-18th through early 20th century.
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Series 2: Courses and Projects, 1746-1995

4 boxes
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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. Office of the President.
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 442 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.
Collection
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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Series 11: James McCosh Records, 1747-1995

10 boxes
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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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Series 2, General Records, 1748-1966, contains one volume of early commencement notices and articles which have been copied in full from newspaper articles. These are penciled, handwritten reprints of articles regarding commencement activities which have been bound into one volume. There is an index in the volume listing the title of each publication and the date. Also present is a notebook from Alexander Leitch (1938-1966) containing articles regarding commencement, typewritten notes with annotated remarks, Commencement Committee reports, notes, and other material, and correspondence with Paul Bedford, Class of 1897, and head of the Commencement Committee.
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Series 9: Indexes to the Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes consists of photocopied indexes to Volumes I-IV of the Board of Trustees meeting minutes (1748-1868), a photocopied index for the years 1976-1987, as well as cards arranged alphabetically by topic that provide an index to the contents of the Board of Trustee meeting minutes for the period roughly from 1898 to the mid 1970s. A card in the "Key" section of the index, which was written in 1968, explains, "This reference file was prepared from Board and Executive Committee minutes and covers the period from October 1948 through January 1968. It goes into little or no detail in the matters dealt with in minutes of the Finance and Grounds and Buildings Committees...The file incorporates cards from the old index, from c. 1898 until c. 1929." The card index was updated into the mid 1970s.
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Princeton University Commencement Records, 1748-2022

AC115 30 boxes 1 folder
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Princeton University. Office of the Secretary
The Commencement Records contain programs, bulletins, announcements and newspaper clippings which document commencement activities from 1748 to the present. Files are arranged chronologically by year. In addition there are separate series consisting of bound programs, electrical broadcast transcriptions, bound commencement notices, oversize material, and audio recordings of various commencement, class day, and baccalaureate activities.
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The first volume (1748-1796) is a gold mine of information about the personalities and activities of the young College of New Jersey. As these minutes date from the very beginning of the College, they address the multitude of issues and problems the trustees initially addressed. It was the era of the group decision, with the entire Board involved in solving every type of problem at their infrequent (two or three times a year) meetings. This volume is contained in two forms: the original volume (which does not circulate) and a typed transcript in two parts.
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As president of the College of New Jersey, Samuel Finley is known for increasing enrollment and for his popularity as a teacher. Finley was born in 1715 in Armagh County, Ireland. On immigrating to America in 1734, he immediately began to educate himself with the goal of becoming a minister and was ordained in 1740 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During his seventeen years as pastor of the church of Nottingham, Maryland, he oversaw its educational academy. Early in his career, Finley preached in a contentious manner, very much in keeping with the spirited religious revivals of the Great Awakening, but he later moderated his tone. He received an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow before becoming the fifth president of the College of New Jersey in June 1761, serving in this role until his death in July 1766.
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Princeton University Office of the Registrar.
Since its first class of six graduates and one honoree in 1748, Princeton University has awarded over 80,000 diplomas. This collection contains 213 original diplomas and photostats, including executed diplomas as well as blank, sample or spoiled diplomas.
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Series 1: Gerald Breese Papers, 1750-1985

1 box 1 folder
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Series 1: Gerald Breese Papers, 1752-1976, contains photocopies of maps and deeds, mortgages and correspondence collected by Breese concerning the transfer of tracts of land to the University. Some of Breese's research notes are also included. Most of the papers relate to transactions made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The series contains a folder on woodlots and close-in properties from 1752 to 1785, as well as digital research materials such as scanned maps, development plans, and photographs.