- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
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- Selden, William K. (Class of 1934)
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- William K. Selden Collection on Eating Clubs
- Princeton University Archives
- Permanent URL:
- 2 boxes
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-2
The William K. Selden Collection on Eating Clubs contains research materials collected by Selden for the publication, Club Life at Princeton; An Historical Account of the Upper-Class Eating Clubs at Princeton University. Selden donated the material to the Archives in 1994.
Collection Description & Creator Information
As Princeton's student population expanded in the middle part of the 19th century, eating clubs were established to provide sufficient dining services. Eating clubs filled a social vacuum created when Greek-letter fraternities were banned in 1855 and became the dominant social influence among undergraduates. Throughout their history, the restricted clubs were criticized for their exclusivity and for creating artificial barriers among the student population. Membership declined in the years following the Second World War, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s when students sought more egalitarian social institutions. In 1969 the admittance of women into the University caused a stir among the clubs, but many embraced the change and opened membership to women. In 1979 Sally Frank, a third-year student, filed a lawsuit with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights when she was denied membership in three of the exclusive clubs. The final verdict, announced in 1992, forced all clubs to admit women to their ranks. There are presently 14 active clubs on campus, the oldest of which is the Ivy Club, established in 1879.
The collection contains primarily clippings, arranged chronologically, from The Daily Princetonian as well as clippings from Princeton Alumni Weekly and Princeton Weekly Bulletin documenting the activities of Princeton University's Eating Clubs. Topics found within this collection include the University's Bicker policy and women's rights in the Eating Club system. Relevant reports, such as the Report on Undergraduate Residential Life, and personal correspondence are also found.
- Collection Creator Biography:
William Kirkpatrick Selden (1911-2009) was an American educator.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Theresa Marchitto in January 1995. Finding aid written by Theresa Marchitto in January 1995.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.
- Credit this material:
William K. Selden Collection on Eating Clubs; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript LibrarySeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345