Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Nassau Hall Iconography
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
6 boxes and 1 folder
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-6


The collection contains representations of Nassau Hall and other historic buildings of Princeton University. Most of them are reproductions, some photographic.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The first is a rendering of Nassau Hall by Dawkins, from New American Magazine, published in 1760, four years after the building was completed. This building was later seriously damaged during the American Revolution. Paintings by Peale, Polk and Trumbull depicting George Washington and the Battle of Princeton have Nassau Hall in the backdrop, thus reminding the viewer of Princeton's contribution to the Revolutionary cause and its subsequent sufferings.

Nassau Hall was severely damaged by fire several times in the course of the nineteenth century. Latrobe's sketch and floor plan were intended for reconstruction of the building after one such disaster of 1802. This remodeled building lasted and remained a favorite subject of painters' and engravers' until another fire in 1855 required yet another reconstruction. Drawings and engravings from the nineteenth century show the differences of these two designs.

The collection includes paintings and drawings of a few other buildings at Princeton. Stanhope Hall and Philosophical Hall were both built in 1803. While the former has housed the college library, class rooms and various administrative offices over time, the latter, where mathematics and natural philosophy classes were conducted, was razed in 1873 to make room for Chancellor Green Library. East College, an exact duplicate of West College, served exclusively as a dormitory for over ninety years before it was demolished in 1896. The plans of Nassau Hall and all these buildings reflect the nineteenth-century preference for a symmetrical quadrangle.

The folder labeled "Twentieth Century Renderings" contains several original items such as a pen drawing, a water color painting and a few prints, all of Nassau Hall. Also included are a blueprint of the first floor, Nassau Hall, (1936) and its reproductions.

Except for the folder labeled "Twentieth Century Renderings," most of the items in this collection are listed within chapter seven of Nassau Hall: 1756-1956. This volume was commissioned by the Board of Trustees of Princeton University to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Nassau Hall. The information on the iconography included in Nassau Hall is based on research done by Varnum Lansing Collins. The commentary on each image listed in the book has been included with the respective image.


Series 1: Nassau Hall Iconongraphy, Chronological, is arranged by the date of the materials; Series 2: Additions, is arranged in the order that the materials were donated or transferred to the library.

Collection History


The collection was created by Princeton University Archives and is being added to on a continuing basis.


Materials are added regularly on a regular bases.


No information about appraisal is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Sue J. Kim in May 1997, Rachel Ban in June 2001. Additional material incorporated and the finding aid updated by Sue J. Kim, Rachel Ban in May 1997, June 2001. Additions made and finding aid updated by Christie Peterson in August 2011 and May 2012 and by Jarrett M. Drake in September 2014.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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:

Nassau Hall Iconography; 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 1-6

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

FOR DIGITIZED CONTENT: Almost all of the collection, with the exception of oversize material, has been digitized and may be viewed or downloaded through this finding aid. To view materials, navigate to the title of the item.

Related Materials

Historical Subject Files - Grounds and Buildings (AC#109)

Nassau Hall Iconography (Box 7, Folder 10)

Savage, Henry Lyttleton, ed. "Early Iconography of Nassau Hall and the President's House." Chap. 7 in Nassau Hall: 1756-1956. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1956.

Subject Terms:
Buildings -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
College buildings -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Genre Terms:
Photographs, Original.
Nassau Hall (Princeton, N.J.)
Princeton University
Princeton (N.J.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- History.