Contents and Arrangement

Series 3: Jonathan Edwards Records, 1758-1993

2 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Jonathan Edwards succeeded his son-in- law, Aaron Burr, Sr., to become the third president of the College of New Jersey in September 1757. Edwards studied theology at Yale College, preached in the Presbyterian Church, and is remembered for his belief that only the truly converted should receive Communion, rather than all baptized persons. However, his proposal along these lines led to his dismissal from the Northampton, Massachusetts Presbyterian church in 1750, after which he passed his days serving as a missionary and writing with a passion. Edwards accepted the office of president with some reluctance but continued to preach actively from the College's pulpit. He died in March 1758 after being inoculated for smallpox, just six months into his tenure. His three sons and eight daughters survived him.

This series is arranged topically and contains folders concerning Edwards's life, his time in Princeton, his family, and his legacy. Materials include a newspaper obituary, several copies of the inscription on his tomb and a memorial to him in Latin, and information about his descendents and various Edwards artifacts such as his bust, his desk, and one of his letters. A folder entitled "Information on Portraits" contains an inventory of the Edwards portraits located in the Princeton Art Museum, information about the portraits, and several letters regarding their donation. Of particular interest among the images in this series are photographs of a portrait of Edwards's wife, Sarah Pierpont Edwards. Other images include views of his tomb and the Edwards Elm.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Collection History


No information on appraisal is available.


These papers were processed with the generous support of former Princeton University President Harold T. Shapiro, Charles Brothman '51, and the John Foster Dulles and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Carol V. Burke and Stacey C. Peeples in 2002. Finding aid written by Carol V. Burke and Stacey C. Peeples in 2002.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Materials generated by the office of the president are closed for 30 years from the date of their creation. Some records relating to personnel or students are closed for longer periods of time.

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:

Series 3: Jonathan Edwards Records; Office of the President Records : Jonathan Dickinson to Harold W. Dodds Subgroup, AC117, Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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 (mudd): Box 1-2