- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Princeton University. Office of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel.
- Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
- Office of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel Records
- Princeton University Archives
- Permanent URL:
- 1906-2017 (mostly 1920-1981)
- 48 boxes and 2 items
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-48
The religious interests of members of the University are served through the offices of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel, which work with chaplains of different denominations and faiths on a variety of activities. The Dean of the Chapel records document the activities of the Office and the Chapel and include former dean files, historical material, minutes, and marriage, birth, baptism, and death records as well as adminsitrative files and programs of services and concerts.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The Dean of the Chapel records document the activities of the Office and the Chapel and include former dean files, historical material, minutes, and marriage, birth, baptism, and death records as well as adminsitrative files and programs of services and concerts. Series 1 materials include files for the tenure of Dean Robert Russell Wicks (1928-1947), Assistant Deans of the Chapel Laurence Fenninger (1930-1946), Burton MacLean (1946-1948), H. Keith Beebe (1949-1954), Wiley Crites (1954-1959), material for Richard Stillwell's history, "The Chapel of Princeton University" (Princeton University Press, 1971), minutes of the Chapel Congregation and Chapel Council (1938-1951), files relating to the Chapel organ reconstruction (1975-1992), historical subject files, and marriage, birth, baptism, and death registers beginning in 1952. Series 2 consists of alphabetical correspondence files, subject files, chapel programs and event information, records of baptisms, funerals and memorials and related materials. Series 3 consists of programs for Chapel services and concerts. Series 4 contains a photograph and biographical sketch of Martin Luther King, Jr. along with a chapel preacher list including his April 29, 1962 visit.
- Collection Creator Biography:
The religious interests of members of the University are served through the offices of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel. In the college's early history, religious programs at the University were supervised by the president; by the 1890s the Philadelphian Society, a student organization, took over some of this responsibility. In 1928 the university completed its new chapel and centered all responsibility for campus religious life in the new position of Dean of the Chapel. Six people have served in this position: the Reverend Dr. Robert Russell Wicks (1928-1947), the Right Reverend Donald B. Aldrich (1947-1955), the Reverend Ernest Gordon (1955-1981), the Reverend Frederick H. Borsch (1981-1988), the Reverend Sue Anne Steffey Morrow (Acting Dean, 1988-1989), and the Reverend Dr. Joseph C. Williamson (1989-present).
As a form of public worship, chapel played an integral role in the early history of the University. Daily services, dating back to the founding of the college, were conducted by administration and faculty members, in private homes and i n Nassau Hall. In 1847, the first chapel building was erected, later replaced by the larger Marquand Chapel in 1882. After Marquand Chapel was destroyed by fire in 1920, worship services were held in Alexander Hall until the current building, known as the University Chapel, was completed in 1928. For much of the University's history, students were required to attend chapel; juniors and seniors were released from this requirement in 1935, sophomores in the 1950s, and freshman in 1964.
Staff members of the Office of the Religious Life and Chapel work with chaplains of particular denominations and faiths on a variety of activities. Student religious organizations are associated with the Religious Life and Chapel program. For further information about the program, researchers should contact the Office of the Dean of Religious Life.
Records have been transferred in periodic installments to the Archives from the Office of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel since 1960. Series 4 was transferred by the Office of the Dean of Religious Life in 2018. (AR.2018.006). Chapel programs for 2018-2019 were transferred in July, 2019 (AR.2019.068).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library guidelines.
- Processing Information:
2017 accession of programs processed by Annalise Berdini in 2018. 2018 accession of MLK, Jr. material processed by Phoebe Nobles in 2018. 2019 accessions of programs processed by Phoebe Nobles in 2019. Information about previous accessions and processing is unavailable. Finding aid updated by Phoebe Nobles in 2019.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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:
Office of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel Records; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript LibrarySeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Genre Terms:
- Princeton university
Princeton University Office of Dean of the Chapel.
Princeton University. Chapel
Beebe, H. Keith, 1921-
Borsch, Frederick Houk
Breidenthal, Thomas E., 1951-
Fenninger, W. N. (William Norman), 1889-
Gordon, Ernest, 1916-2002
Morrow, Sue Anne Steffey, 1949-
Stillwell, Richard, 1899-1982