Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 15A: Correspondence, 1896-1988

78 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Subseries 15A: Correspondence, 1896-1988 [bulk: 1933-1957], the largest of the six subseries that comprise Dodds's records, is arranged alphabetically by correspondent or topic. Correspondence that does not warrant its own folder is grouped under A, B, C and so forth in the general alphabetical sequence. This subseries illustrates the complexity of a modern university and the extent to which Princeton University had expanded, even during Dodds's own time. Correspondence concerns such subjects as academics, administrative offices and committees, associations and clubs, athletics, endowments and foundations, financial aid, the Library, the ROTC, and the Board of Trustees, as well as numerous individuals. Material relating to academics can be found under the appropriate department — from biology to philosophy — and includes discussions of budgets, grants, hiring and recruiting, office space and equipment, research, and meetings. The largest concentration of academic subject matter pertains to the School of Public and International Affairs (known as the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs between 1948-2020), with which Dodds was closely associated. Of particular interest may be Dodds's Princeton University-related post- retirement correspondence in Box 138, Folders 10-12, which contains, among other topics, recommendations for his successor, Robert Goheen; mention of the Alger Hiss controversy and its impact on financial contributions; correspondence about the early days of the School of Public and International Affairs; bequests for fellowships; and Dodds's views on co- education.

Some topics and individuals command more attention than others. The importance of financial issues, particularly under the exigencies of World War II, is reflected in the 11 folders of material pertaining to George A. Brakely, Princeton University's financial vice president and treasurer during much of Dodds's tenure. The Library, which acquired its current home under Dodds, is also well documented, not only in folders with "Library" as their title but also in those relating to librarians Julian P. Boyd and William S. Dix. The development of Firestone Library (the argument for which can be found in Dodds's files as early as 1934) is understandably prominent, but other matters are addressed as well, among them, the procurement of collections, notably those of Messrs. Parrish, Scheide, Witney, and Gest; the creation of a regional depository for seldom-used books in New York and Philadelphia libraries; and wartime dangers, including a memorandum dated March 19, 1941 concerning the removal of rare materials to safety in the event of bombing. The Association of American Universities, though not specific to Princeton, is another topic that consumes a substantial number of folders in this subseries. Among the topics addressed in this material are testing, accreditation, federal aid to education, taxes, and the draft. Finally, many folders contain information concerning foundations and the grants they awarded to Princeton University. The Rockefeller Foundation was especially generous, extending support for research in subjects ranging from Arabic and Islamic studies and organic chemistry to public opinion and literary criticism.


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 copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. For instances beyond Fair Use, if copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of materials from the Princeton University Archives.

For instances beyond Fair Use where the copyright is not held by the University, while permission from the Library is not required, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 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:

Subseries 15A: Correspondence; 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 81-158