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Collection Overview

Princeton University. Office of Communications.
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Office of Communications Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
265 boxes, 2 folders, and 1 website
Storage Note:

Mudd Library collections are unavailable until further notice due to a renovation. See our webpage for the most current information.



The Office of Communications is Princeton University's administrative department with oversight of media relations and publicity, official publications, web site design and development, and photographic services. The Office of Communications Records consist of subject files and photographs created by the office, some going back to the 1920s, when the first Director of Public Relations was appointed.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The Office of Communications Records document a wide range of public University activities and dealings. Most files contain press releases, clippings of University publicity and outside press coverage, and, in some cases, correspondence. Subjects include regular University business as well as special events, University policies, individual departments, faculty members, student activities and life, and dealings with alumni and donors. The records also contain large numbers of photographs and contact prints created by Office of Communication staff photographers. These visual materials document the above-mentioned topics, and many of the images were printed in the Princeton Alumni Weekly, the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, or on the University's webpage.

Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.

Collection Creator Biography:

The Office of Communications is Princeton University's administrative department with oversight of media relations and publicity, official publications, web site design and development, and photographic services.

The history of the University's Communications Office can be traced to 1925, when Alexander Leitch was appointed Director of Public Relations. He was succeeded three years later by Frederick Spring Osborne, who was called Director of Public Information. During the following years the title switched back and forth with major departmental changes.

The first expansion into a real department was in 1946, when Edmund Schacleford DeLong was appointed above Osborne as Director of Public Relations and Dan Coyle became the third staff member. The new department moved from Nassau Hall to Reunion Hall one year later. It was renamed Department of Public Information again in 1954 and kept that name until 1973.

The department grew in the 1960s. Coyle, who had left in 1959, came back as Director of Public Information in 1965, and the department moved into Stanhope Hall. By then it had seven staff members, including an assistant to the Director, a person in charge of sports information, and William McCleery, who was appointed in 1964 as the editor of University, A Princeton Quarterly. McCleery soon moved to his own office in Maclean House.

In 1973 Coyle retired and the department was renamed the News Bureau, headed by John M. Fenton, the previous Associate Director who had joined the office in 1963. A second staff member was added for sports coverage, and McCleery was from then on listed separately in the University directories. Fenton soon left the new News Bureau, and in 1975 the department was renamed the Communications Office, with George Eager as the new director. A third person was added to the sports section, which moved to the new Jadwin Gymnasium. Both the division at Jadwin Gym and Stanhope Hall gained another staff member one year later, bringing the total to nine.

In 1981 Communications merged with Publications, which had been established in 1974. By 1990 the staff of the Communications/Publications Department numbered 16 in all, with subsections for news, the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, publications, and athletics. A later reorganization resulted in the creation of four Communications teams centered around the needs of the University in the 21st century; the administrative team, the news team, the publications team, and the web team.

Collection History


The records which comprise Series 1 were fully processed in 2002 as the Office of Communications Records. The records which comprise Series 2, Series 3, and Series 4 were transferred to the University Archives in several accessions between the 1990s and 2008.


Continued accruals of records are expected from the Office of Communications indefinitely.

Archival Appraisal Information:

Appraisal of this collection was conducted according to Mudd Library Guidelines. During 2009 processing several duplicate publications which were found elsewhere in the Library's collections were removed.

Processing Information:

Series 1 of this collection was processed by Helene Van Rossum in 2005. Series 2, Series 3, and Series 4 of this collection were processed by Daniel Brennan in 2008. Finding aid written by Helene Van Rossum in 2005 and added to by Daniel Brennan in 2008. Boxes 236-245 were added to Series 4 by Christie Peterson with assistance from Eleanor Wright '14 and Suchi Mandavilli '14 in April and May 2012 snd rehoused with differnt box numbers in 2018. Enhancement of description and reprocessing of Subseries 4A: Robert P. Matthews conducted by Valencia L. Johnson in 2018.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

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.

Special Requirements for Access:

Series 4: Photographs contains a number of 35mm film slides and photographic negatives.

Other Finding Aids:

Full text searching of the Undergraduate Student Goverment archived website is available through the ArchiveIt interface.

Credit this material:

Office of Communications 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 Material:

The Office of Communications Records relate to many of the other collections of the University Archives. In particular, the subject files which comprise Series 1 are complementary to the Historical Subject File collection. The public information found in Series 3: Faculty and Staff Files is often duplicated in the Faculty Files. Additionally, there is frequent overlap in the photographs in Series 4 and other photograph collections such as the Historic Photograph Collection and the Princeton Alumni Weekly Photograph Collection.

Subject Terms:
College students -- Social conditions.
Student movements -- United States.
Universities and colleges -- Public relations.
University presses.
Genre Terms:
Web sites.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Princeton university
Princeton university press