Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Women's Center.
Women's Center Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
18 boxes and 1 websites
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-16


The Princeton University Women's Center is a campus organization dedicated to providing a forum through which female students can voice their feelings and concerns about student life. The Women's Center also oversees the organization of programming and outreach activities which touch on a broad spectrum of women's issues. The records contain correspondence, subject files, and materials related to events and programs sponsored by the Women's Center.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Women's Center records contain materials collected and created by the Women's Center which relate to its mission of promoting the empowerment of women on Princeton's campus. These include subject files on various topics, articles and memoranda as well as files and memorabilia on events and programs sponsored by the Women's Center.


The records remain in their original arrangement. Files pertaining to a single topic or subject are grouped together, however beyond these groupings there is no further sense of order.

Collection Creator Biography:

Princeton University. Women's Center.

Once described by former director Susan Overton as "both a place and a concept" the Princeton University Women's Center is a campus organization dedicated to providing a forum through which female students can voice their feelings or concerns on student life. The Women's Center's mission is accomplished primarily through the organization of programming and outreach activities touching on a broad spectrum of women's issues.

Founded by a group of students in 1971, only two years after the arrival of the first female undergraduates on campus, the Women's Center was originally established to fill the growing demand for a consolidated feminist voice on campus. Initially run entirely by a board of students, the early programs of the Women's Center touched on issues such as equal-opportunity employment and media portrayals of women. In 1974 the Center was granted space in Aaron Burr Hall. In 1978 the Office of the Dean of Students assumed oversight of the center, and since 1987, the Women's Center has been staffed by a full-time director and a small office staff composed in part of undergraduate and graduate students.

The Women's Center has frequently collaborated with other campus organizations and academic programs and departments while putting together events such as conferences, film screenings, and lectures. The Center has also from time to time made policy recommendations to university administration. One notable outgrowth of Women's Center activities was the President's Standing Committee on the Status of Women, formed in 1989 for the review of University policies in regards to their effect on women.

Though the focus of the Women's Center has broadened greatly since its founding as a feminist group, the organization has not been without its critics. In 1982 after the Center refused to permit the formation of a pro-life task force, skeptics questioned whether the organization was truly representative of all women on campus. When the issue was brought before the Committee on Undergraduate Life, the Center's defense was accompanied by strong letters of support from prominent feminists and scholars nationwide.

In 2001 the Women's Center's celebrated its thirtieth anniversary by moving into a permanent location in the newly completed Frist Campus Center.

Collection History


These records were transferred to the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library on January 30, 2006 . An accrual was transfered to the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library on October 17, 2007 .


Additional accruals of records are expected from the Women's Center on a continual basis.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Mudd Library guidelines. During the 2007 processing of these records one box containing 1.25 linear feet of publications relating to women's issues but not directly produced by or about the Women's Center was transferred to Firestone Library.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Daniel Brennan in June 2007 with assistance from Joshua Muketha '10. The October 2007 accession was processed by Mike Mellor in November 2007. Floppy disks found in Series 2 were processed by Elena Colon-Marrero in 2015. Finding aid written by Daniel Brennan in June 2007 and updated by Mike Mellor in December 2007 and by Elena Colon-Marrero in 2015.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

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.

This collection contains 3.5 floppy disks. Researchers are responsible for meeting the technical requirements needed to access these materials, including any and all hardware and software.

Credit this material:

Women's Center 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 1-16

Find More

Related Materials

The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library holds the records of several related campus organizations, including the Steering Committee For the 20th Anniversary of Undergraduate Coeducation at Princeton records (AC182) and the Princeton University Women's Organization records (AC172), the Women's Studies Program Records (AC216), and the Organization of Women's Leaders Records (AC229).

Some material pertaining to the Women's Center can also be found in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students records (AC136), and the Historical Subject Files (AC109).

Other Finding Aids

Full text searching of the Women's Center archived website is available through the Archive-It interface.

Subject Terms:
Feminism and education.
Women college students - Attitudes.
Women college students - New Jersey - Social conditions.
Women college students - Services for - New Jersey.
Women college students -- Societies and clubs - New Jersey.
Women's rights -- New Jersey.
Genre Terms:
Born digital.
Web sites.
Princeton University - Women's Center.