Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Dept. of History.
Department of History records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
1926-2017 (mostly 1926-1979)
14 boxes and 1 website
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-15


From the time of the department's institution in 1924, history has typically been one of Princeton's most popular undergraduate concentrations, with the Department of History offering 40 or more undergraduate courses each year. The records consis of subject and faculty files, correspondence, departmental budgets, course syllabi, as well as records from several special projects.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of subject and faculty files, correspondence, departmental budgets, and course syllabi. Also included in the collection are statistical forms of 19th century Princeton alumni compiled for a research project by the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, records from the NDEA Institute for Advanced Studies in History, and records from a 1996 conference on American Conservatism.


The Department of History Records are organized into the following series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Princeton University. Dept. of History.

In the earliest years of the College of New Jersey, the study of history was typically marginalized as an ancillary aspect of politics such to the extent that in 1904 when Princeton University president Woodrow Wilson established the departmental system, history was grouped together with politics and economics in an arrangement that remained until 1924. The Department was carried through its formative years by the teaching skill and scholarship of its first two chairmen, Dana Carlton Munro and Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, both of whom would also serve terms as president of the American Historical Association. A newfound interest in the study of history among undergraduates following World War II sparked growth in the Department's faculty and course offerings, and since this time the Department of History has typically been one of the most popular undergraduate concentrations at Princeton, offering 40 or more undergraduate courses each year.

In 1965 faculty from Princeton University's Department of History applied for federal funds under the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) for a summer program for the advanced education of secondary school history teachers. The program took place in the summer of 1966 and enrolled approximately 40 students. It was taught by faculty from Princeton as well as other universities.

Founded in 1968, the Davis Center for Historical Studies is named after Shelby Cullom Davis '30, who provided a generous gift to assure the continuance of excellence in scholarship and the teaching of history at Princeton University. The Davis Center has funded numerous research projects, including projects to document all Princetonians of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Collection History


The records have been acquired through occasional transfers from the Department of History, the earliest dating from 1962 and the most recent occurring in 1994.


Continued transfers of records from the Department of History are expected indefinitely.


Appraisal information was not recorded at time of processing.

Processing Information

This finding aid was amended by Christie Peterson with the assistance of Suchi Mandavilli '14 in November 2010. Series 6 was added by Christie Peterson in June 2012.

Series 4: NDEA Institute for Advanced Studies in History Records, 1965-1967 was previously cataloged as a separate collection with the call number AC265.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Materials older than 30 years that do not pertain to student academic performance, trustee issues, or faculty personnel matters are open. Faculty personnel records in Series 1: 1962 Accession of Inactive Records are restricted for 75 years from the date of record creation. Student academic records in Series 4: NDEA Institute for Advanced Studies in History are restricted for 75 years from the date of record creation or for the lifetime of the student. Series 5, Series 6, and Series 7 are open.

Restrictions beyond 30 years are noted in the relevant series and folder descriptions.

Conditions Governing 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.

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:

Department of History records; 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): Box 1-15

Find More

Related Materials

Additional material about the Department of History can be found in AC333, Syllabi and Course Materials Collection, the Historical Photograph Collections, and the Annual Reports to the President.

Other Finding Aids

Full text searching of this collection's archived website is available through the Archive-It interface.

Subject Terms:
Federal aid to education -- New Jersey.
High school teachers -- Training of.
History -- Study and teaching -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
History teachers -- Training of.
Universities and colleges -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- Departments.
Genre Terms:
Web sites.
Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies
Princeton University
Princeton University.