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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
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
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
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
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.