Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton University Class Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
501 boxes, 9 folders, 8 items, and 3996 digital files
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-142; 144-284; 286-337; 339-344; 346-352; 354-357; 359-365; 367-371; 373; 375; 377-381; 383-387; 389-402; 404-437; 439-449; 451-466; 468-500


The Class Records consist of a diverse set of materials documenting the history and activities of Princeton University classes during their time as undergraduates and as alumni. In the collection are correspondence, newsletters, publications, photographs, and memorabilia, all of which pertain to a particular Princeton University graduating class and its members.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The Class Records consist of a diverse set of materials documenting the history and activities of Princeton University classes during their time as undergraduates and as alumni. In the collection are correspondence, newsletters, publications, photographs, and memorabilia, all of which pertain to a particular Princeton University graduating class and its members.

The most common type of material in the collection is class secretary records consisting of correspondence to individual classmates. These letters regard updates to class notes, questionnaires sent to classmates regarding their information to be updated in reunion books, directories, and other publications, as well as University sponsored events such as Alumni Day, football weekend, faculty lectures, and most importantly Reunions. Heavily documented in these records are the activities of the reunions committee for many classes in planning major reunions. In addition to class secretary files, administrative correspondence is also included from various committees serving under the Alumni Association of Princeton University as well as from regional alumni associations. The most common among these are the Princeton Club of New York and the Princeton Club of Philadelphia, respectively.

Of particular note in the Class Records are 19th century proclamations, broadsides printed and posted by classes (often the freshman or sophomore class) to insult each other or declare the end of hazing periods. These posters are often humorous and feature typical 19th century typefaces and design.

In some instances donations made by individual alumni have been included in the Class Records collection. These often consist of undergraduate material relating to class day exercises, sophomore dances, junior orations, class photographs, and sometimes scrapbooks. Additionally, pieces of memorabilia such as hat bands, pins, and banners used at reunions have been included in this collection.

Though nearly all alumni classes are represented in the Class Records to some degree, the amount of material pertaining to any particular class varies greatly. By far the largest amount of material is related to classes from the late 1890s to the 1940s. Documentation for classes from the 18th century consists almost entirely of secondary materials compiled by later researchers.


The collection has been organized into the following series by class year, but within each class, no arrangement has been imposed; the papers remain in their original order.

Collection History


Much of the material that forms the Class Records collection has been given to the University Archives piecemeal by alumni and class officers. Particularly in recent years, accession numbers have been assigned to record the provenance of any one item in the collection, however the provenance of some earlier accessions is unclear.


Additional accruals of materials to be added to the Class Records collection are expected to continue indefinitely.


Appraisal information was not recorded at time of processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rosalba Varallo Recchia with assistance from Sarah Vitali '11 in 2009. Finding aid written by Rosalba Varallo Recchia and Daniel Brennan in 2009. Oversize items added by Christie Peterson with assistance from Suchi Mandavilli '14 in January 2011. Additional previously unprocessed/uncataloged materials added by Christie Peterson in May 2012. Series 19 added by Lynn Durgin in January 2016. Class of 1913 alumni file accrual found in repository and added to Series 9 by Annalise Berdini in December 2018. Class of 1909 material found in repository (AR.2019.046), as well as Class of 1881 material (AR.2019.024) added in 2019 by Phoebe Nobles. In 2019, box numbers assigned to previously unhoused oversize material were changed (now Boxes 385-439).

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use with the exception of Series 19, Class of 1942 President's files, and some files in Series 9, Classes of 1911-1915. In series 9 and 19, files on individual alumni are closed for a period of 40 years from their creation. The remaining files are open. Restrictions are noted in the 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.

Credit this material:

Princeton University Class 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

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Related Materials

Owing to the variety of materials in the collection and the wide date span covered, the Class Records complement several major University Archives collections at the Mudd Library. These include, but are not limited to:

Princeton Alumni Publications, Inc. Editor's Records

The Princeton Alumni Weekly Photograph Collection

Graduate Alumni Records

Alumni Organization Records

Keeper of Princetoniana Records


The following materials were consulted during the preparation of the history section: Leitch, Alexander. A Princeton Companion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978. Selden, William K. Going Back: The Uniqueness of Reunions and P-rades at Princeton University, 1999. The Alumni Association of Princeton University website.

Subject Terms:
Class reunions -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
College students -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Universities and colleges -- Alumni and alumnae -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Genre Terms:
Born digital.
Broadsides (notices)
Lantern slides
Motion pictures (visual work)
Alumni Association of Nassau-Hall (College of New Jersey)
Princeton University
Princeton University.
Princeton University. Class of 1802.
Princeton University. Class of 1806.
Princeton University. Class of 1837.
Princeton University. Class of 1896.
Princeton University. Funds and scholarships.
Princeton University. National Alumni Association.