Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Lecture Notes Collection
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
80 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-80; S-000267


This collection contains over 600 sets of student notes taken from lectures given by members of Princeton's faculty. They represent the broad range of courses taught at Princeton University (known as the College of New Jersey prior to 1896) and include the works of numerous famous faculty and students.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection contains student notes taken from lectures given by members of Princeton's faculty. They represent the broad range of courses taught at Princeton University. From the notes one can acquire a sense of student academic interests, advances in learning, and the increased specialization of courses.

Some of the lecture notes are very thorough documents while others are brief. Most of the notes are handwritten in lined, bound notebooks or on typical notebook paper. Examples from the early 19th century often include ink drawings and even watercolors to illustrate such things as scientific apparatus (see Frederick Giger's notes for Joseph Henry's Natural Philosophy in 1840) or the Greek classical orders (see Charles Shield's notes for Albert Dod's Architecture in 1842). Researchers can track the evolution of certain frequently reappearing courses over time. Examples include Joseph Henry's Natural Philosophy, with notes from 1835 to 1857, James McCosh's Psychology, with notes from 1869 to 1881, and Albert Friend's Northern Renaissance, with notes from 1939 to 1950. Changes in pedagogy are also reflected; courses in the 20th century with defined subjects such as mathematics and physics fell under the rubric of Natural Philosophy during the 19th century. Generalized history and literature courses later become specialized, as in Professor Eric Goldman's History of American Liberalism or Professor Carlos Baker's Romantic Movement in English Literature.

Aside from five university presidents (Hibben, Maclean, McCosh, Smith, and Wilson), there are numerous famous faculty represented in the collection, including Stephen Alexander, Lyman Atwater, Carlos Baker, Cyril Black, Cyrus Fogg Brackett, Hadley Cantril, John Duffield, Donald Egbert, Frank Fetter, Arnold Guyot, Walter "Buzzer" Hall, Joseph Henry, Edwin Kemmerer, Charles Rufus Morey, Erwin Panofsky, and Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker. Some well-known students include John Maclean, William Magie, John Duffield, and John Hibben. The collection includes the lecture notes of one nineteenth-century woman, Louisa B. Maclean, niece of President Maclean, who sat in on James Murray's English Literature in 1878.

Collection History


Appraisal information was not recorded at time of processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Christine Kitto in 2002-03, with the assistance of Elizabeth Miller '06, Will Taylor '04, Caterina Teuscher '03, and Elona Toska '05. Finding aid written by Christine Kitto, Elizabeth Miller '06, Will Taylor '04, Caterina Teuscher '03, and Elona Toska '05 in March 2002. Additions were processed and the finding aid was amended by Christie Peterson with assistance from Eleanor Wright '14 in March and April 2011. AR.2013.128 processed by Annalise Berdini in June 2018. Finding aid updated with multiple accessions by Phoebe Nobles in 2022.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

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:

Lecture Notes 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 1-80; S-000267