Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Historical Audiovisual Collection
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
1912-2012 (mostly 1945-1996)
241 boxes, 9 items, 1 digital file, and 1.5 GB
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-239; 1224; 191a; 191b; *missing*; unknown


This collection contains more than 2,300 items, including film, videotapes, compact discs, audio cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tape, and record albums and covers a broad range of topics including classical music, alumni reunions, lectures, and interviews.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection has been divided into 7 broad series: Academics, Alumni, Campus Life, Events, Music, Public Talks, and Unidentified/Unknown Content. Subseries include Athletics (mostly football), Social Life, War/Military, Judicial Hearings, Theater, and Conferences/Meetings.

Some notable items are an audio recording of Jimmy Stewart singing in a Triangle Club production Spanish Blades , "Year of the Tiger" 1965 basketball highlights, PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer New Hour feature on the Hubble Telescope and Dr. Lyman Spitzer, "Looking Back: A Reflection of Black Alumni at Princeton" on the 150th Anniversary of the University, and Toni Morrison speaking about Paradise and appearing on various television and news shows. Other items of potential interest are the Celebrating Jewish-American Writer series, James Baker III '52, Secretary of State, at Princeton in various news clips, and the Class of 1945's World War II Oral History Project. There are also several dedication ceremonies of campus buildings.

The oldest item is a silent film from 1912 of John Grier Hibben's inauguration as president of Princeton University. The bulk of the items were produced from 1945 to 1996. Items from the 1920s through 1930s are generally alumni reunions, alumni trips, the Triangle Club Jazz Band, and football, through these topics can be found throughout the collection. Additional items from the 1940s include the Nassoons, the Ivy Quartet, the Princeton University Band and Princeton University Orchestra, the Class of 1945 Oral History project, and the Princeton Preceptorial of the Air. During the 1950s, the collection becomes more varied, adding the Princeton 54 through 56 series produced by NBC, the Tigertones, and Chapel Choir, the Glee Club, field trips with Professor Glenn Jepson (Department of Geology), and material featuring Adlai Stevenson, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Audiovisual material from the 1960s includes the Chamber Chorus, Gauss Seminars, a 1960 Princeton newsreel, Governor Rockefeller, Bill Bradley, and the Woodrow Wilson School dedication.

Items from the 1970s reflect the turbulent era with the 1970 Princeton strike, and Anti-ROTC demonstration, and a contemporary music concert. The Gauss Seminars continue during the decade. Other items are faculty meetings, public lectures, the Special Committee on Sponsored Research, a Judicial Committee hearing, and the Symphonic Band. There are many taped series in the 1980s, including such diverse topics as: Dennis Sullivan interviews with Princeton University Alumni, "The Photograph and the American Indian," molecular biology, Near Eastern studies, a US-Japanese trade conference, a Medicare conference, a Raphael symposium, Latin American studies, a global logistic symposium, the Woodrow Wilson School's Leadership in the Modern Presidency and Women Executives in State Government series, and regional and conservation symposium. Items from the 1990s include Martin Luther King Day celebrations, Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate in literature, "Defining Moments: Princeton at 250, Andrew Wiles, a student interview of members of Two Dickinson Road Vegetarian co-op, Princeton 250th anniversary Charter Weekend concert ("A Tribute to the Performing Arts"), and Princeton Conference of Higher Education.


Materials are described in chronological order within their series, with undated materials at the end of each series.

Collection History


The collection is the result of many contributions from individuals and departments within the University. Many items are from the University Chapel and Communications Department. Several of the items have accession numbers with donor information.


Audiovisual materials on nitrate film were digitized and the film was de-accessioned and destroyed.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Carol Burke and Carmen Breslin '01, Katie Grzencyzk '02. Finding aid written by Carol Burke and Carmen Breslin '01, Katie Grzencyzk '02. Finding aid updated in February 2018 by Annalise Berdini. Princeton University Historical Audiovisual Collection Database was migrated and finding aid updated in August 2018 by Michelle Peralta.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Materials that do not pertain to student academic performance or discipline, trustee issues, or faculty personnel matters are open.

Conditions Governing Use

The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library holds a wide range of audiovisual media within its collections, many of which are obsolete or on fragile media or both. To ensure that the information contained within these materials remains accessible, no original media are played for research purposes. Mudd's policy requires that originals be dubbed to a digital medium, checked for copyright at that point a reference copy may be provided to researchers. All costs of transferring are borne by the researcher. Princeton University's Media Services handles most of our digitization for audiovisual materials, which is processed by Mudd Library staff. Media Services may require up to 6 weeks to complete a request and this does not include the 1-2 days that Mudd Library staff require to locate, deliver, retrieve, and send requests. For material that Media Services cannot transfer an appropriate vendor will be contacted but the transfer time required can be as little as several days to as long as several months, with costs of upwards of hundreds of dollars per item required for many of these formats. In a very few instances, the library may already have a dub copy available, saving both time and costs.

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.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Historical Audiovisual Collection; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-239; 1224; 191a; 191b; *missing*; unknown