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Collection Overview

Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary
Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
10 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-10


The Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary is a volunteer fundraising organization which supports Princeton University Health Services. Founded in 1902 as the Ladies Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary, the group has been responsible for shaping student health at Princeton University for over a century. The records contain meeting minutes, annual reports, correspondence, and subject files which pertain to the McCosh Infirmary, or to the organization itself.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary Records document the activities and administration of the Auxiliary from the time of its creation until 2001. In accordance with the mission of the organization the bulk of the material pertains to the status of the Infirmary itself, however more recent records also document the development of new student health programs in the form of pamphlets and clipped articles. Additionally the records contain a relatively smaller amount of early Ladies Auxiliary organizational materials, such as membership lists, roll calls, constitutions and by-laws.

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

Collection Creator Biography:

Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary

For over a century the Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary has contributed to the financial well-being of Princeton University's Health Services. The principal role of the Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary is that of a volunteer fundraising organization. Through member contributions and gift programs the Auxiliary is able to underwrite the facilities and staff needs of University Health Services. Notable past projects have included the financing of a new infirmary building (completed in 1925) and the construction of the Margaret S. Goheen Medical Library in 1989, as well as the Janet C. Morgan Health and Wellness Library in 2004. The importance of the Ladies Auxiliary to Princeton student health extends beyond monetary contributions however. The group has consistently provided a sense of organizational leadership and guidance at times when the rapid growth of the University community has necessitated additional support for University Health Services.

In 1902, with the University's new gymnasium nearing completion, J. McNaughton Thompson, then the curator of grounds and buildings, wrote to Mrs. Junius S. Morgan in hopes of persuading her to organize a committee of women for the purpose of furnishing ladies' dressing rooms prior to dances. Mrs. Morgan, wife of the University's associate librarian, undertook the task with zeal and by early June the Ladies Auxiliary had formed. The scope of the organization soon extended beyond that of student recreation and by 1904 the Auxiliary had adopted the improvement and continual support of the Isabella McCosh Infirmary as its primary mission, adopting the name "The Ladies Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary."

In a broader sense, the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary is important as one of the first instances of women taking an active participatory role in the life of the Princeton University community. In a conscious emulation of the commitment of organizational namesake Isabella McCosh (the wife of University president James McCosh) to student health, the bulk of the early members of the Ladies Auxiliary were wives of prominent University faculty and administrators. Inaugural members of the Executive Board included Mrs. Grover Cleveland, Mrs. Allan Marquand, and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. The wife of every Princeton president from Wilson onwards would eventually serve the Auxiliary in some capacity, with Mrs. John Grier Hibben and Mrs. William T. Bowen both serving tenures as Auxiliary presidents. In 2001 the name of the group was changed to "The Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary" in an effort to encourage a more inclusive membership.

Collection History


These records were donated by the Ladies Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary in July 1983, with accruals in November 2004 [AR.2004.081], November 2008 [AR.2008.154], April 2011 [AR.2011.026], and March 2012 [AR.2012.045].


Since the Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary remains an active organization, the collection may receive additional records in the future.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library guidelines.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Daniel Brennan in July, 2006. Finding aid written by Daniel Brennan in July, 2006. Series 7 added and finding aid updated by Lynn Durgin in January 2015.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

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.

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:

Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary 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
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-10

Find More

Related Materials

Researchers seeking additional materials pertaining to the McCosh Infirmary or University Health Services may wish to consult the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library's Historical Subject Files Collection (AC109), particularly Series 18 Health and Well-Being. Additionally the William K. Selden Collection on the History of Health Services (AC006) contains research materials assembled for a book on the subject.


The Heritage of Isabella McCosh by William K. Selden was consulted during preparation of historical note.

Subject Terms:
College students -- Medical care.
College teachers -- Wives -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Health Facilities -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
School Heath Services -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Princeton University
Magie, William Francis, 1858-1943
McCosh, Isabella Guthrie
Morgan, Josephine Adams Perry, 1893-1963
Wilson, Ellen Axson