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Collection Overview

Wilson, H. H. (H. Hubert)
H. Hubert Wilson Collection on the Princeton University Department of Politics
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
1924-1977 (mostly 1967-1977)
12 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-12


H. Hubert Wilson was a professor in Princeton University's Department of Politics from 1943-1977. The collection consists primarily of published sources on topics of interest to Wilson, as well as materials originating in Wilson's teaching at Princeton, and drafts of a publication titled "This Isn't Princeton".

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of published sources on topics of interest to Wilson, including the administration, finances and governance of Princeton University, the activities of the Priorities Committee, government ties and sponsored research at Princeton, ROTC, and campus politics. It also contains materials originating in Wilson's teaching at Princeton, including student papers and theses, as well as drafts of a publication titled "This Isn't Princeton".

Collection Creator Biography:

Wilson, H. H. (H. Hubert)

H. Hubert Wilson was a professor in Princeton University's Department of Politics from 1947-1977. He was known as an ardent supporter of civil liberties, and many of his undergraduate courses invoked that topic.

Harper Hubert Wilson was born on June 18, 1909 in Springfield, Massachussetts. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Springfield College in 1933. After graduation, he taught at the Wilbraham Academy until 1938. He continued his education and received a Master's Degree in Economics in 1939 from Clark University. Wilson then went on to teach for one year at the Staten Island Academy before moving on to the Putney School. He taught at Putney for two years before serving as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, he enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin where he received his Ph.D. in political science in 1947.

Wilson joined the Princeton faculty in 1947 as a specialist on American institutions and the British government. His Politics 203 (Political Power in the U.S.) and 306 (Politics of Civil Liberties) courses became favorites of undergraduates. Wilson developed the Politics 203 course to shock and stimulate students to be aware of the problems of power and dissent in American political life. The groundbreaking approach of studying political phenomena through an analysis of the class, group and power structures of a given society was quickly copied by other institutions. Wilson also taught two graduate courses, Politics 508 (American Legislatures) and 524 (Political Power in American Society).

An ardent supporter of civil liberties, Wilson was highly critical of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the United States Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) director J. Edgar Hoover. He organized a conference of legal authorities and educators to criticize Hoover's leadership of the F.B.I., and he helped to form the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee when the American Civil Liberties Union refused to defend self-professed Communists. He was also a member of the National Advisory Committee of Consumers Union, and served on the Advisory Committee of the L.M. Rabinowitz Foundation. In 1966, he participated in the Yale Socialist Symposium and in 1967 took part in the Philadelphia Peace Convention.

Wilson retired in May 1977 and was named Professor Emeritus in July of 1977. In August 1977, Wilson was found dead in a small swimming pool at his home. Wilson escaped to the pool in an attempt to avoid a swarm of bees (to which he was allergic) that he stirred up while mowing his lawn. The official cause of death was drowning associated with anaphylactic reaction due to bee stings.

Collection History

Processing Information

Finding aid updated with Contents List by Christie Peterson in February 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection must be reviewed for potentially restricted records before access is given. Please contact the University Archives prior to your visit.

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:

H. Hubert Wilson Collection on the Princeton University Department of Politics; 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): Box 1-12