Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Pyne, M. Taylor (Moses Taylor), 1855-1921
Moses Taylor Pyne Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1686-1939 (mostly 1861-1913)
18 boxes and 17.6 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-15; B-001085


Consists of various materials, including correspondence, diaries, documents, and genealogical materials related to Moses Taylor Pyne (Class of 1877), the Pyne family, and the history of Princeton University.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of various materials, including correspondence, diaries, documents, and genealogical materials related to Moses Taylor Pyne (Class of 1877), the Pyne family, as well as the history of Princeton University and the town of Princeton. Genealogical materials consist of both originals and copies of estate papers, family charts, narratives, and manuscripts. Included are the research materials of Ernest Cheston, the Pyne family researcher, and his resulting manuscript, "Memorials of the Family of Pyne," ; the typescript of "A Journey in France in 1815" by Francis John Pyne; two translations by Pyne of "A Chronicle of the King En Pere (Pedro III of Aragon) and His Ancestors" by Bernat Desclot and "Genealogy and Descent of the House of Pinos" by Don Bernardo Galceran de Pinos IV. Papers documenting the history of Princeton, both the university and town, include correspondence, scrapbooks, and other material related to the Graduate College, the inauguration of President Hibben, the Endowment Fund, Cleveland Tower, the Hutton Collection, the Isabelle McCosh Infirmary, and the Princeton Battle Monument, among other topics.


The order of the physical materials at the time of their acquisition has been retained.

Collection Creator Biography:

Pyne, M. Taylor (Moses Taylor), 1855-1921

Moses Taylor Pyne (1855-1921), graduate of the Princeton Class of 1877, was a longtime trustee and benefactor of Princeton, and did much to usher the school's transition from a college to a university by way of his donations and financial support. Among other projects, in conjunction with fellow trustee Bayard Henry, Pyne amassed a sizable collection of records, letters, and writings documenting the early history of the University. Upon its donation in 1894 the Pyne-Henry Collection formed the cornerstone of the University Archives.

Pyne's family wealth was originally accumulated by his maternal grandfather, Moses Taylor, who served as the first president of the National City Bank of New York and the principal stockholder in the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company.

A year after receiving his LL.B. at Columbia Law School in 1879, Moses Taylor Pyne married Margaretta Stockton, a great-great-granddaughter of Richard Stockton (1730-1781), and became general counsel for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company. In 1891, he resigned from this office in order to give more time to his other interests, particularly Princeton. For a period of time, Pyne's estate, "Drumthwacket," served as the center of social life for many Princeton residents and those affiliated with the university; the state and the surrounding land was sold to the state of New Jersey in 1966 and was designated the governor's mansion in 1982.

Collection History


Donated in 1948 by Agnes Pyne Coke. (AM 15717)


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory prepared by Feng Zhu '2014.

Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in October 2017 with additional folder inventory by Matthew Oakland '20.

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. For instances beyond Fair Use, 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:

Moses Taylor Pyne Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-15; B-001085

Find More

Separated Materials

4 linear feet of 19th century newspapers were transferred to Rare Books in 2006.


Biographical information taken from: Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978).

Genre Terms:
American diaries.
Architectural drawings.
Deeds -- England -- Devonshire.
Wills -- England -- Devonshire.
College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.). Class of 1877
Princeton University
Princeton University. Graduate College
Hibben, John Grier (1861-1933)
France -- Description and travel.
Princeton Battle Monument (Princeton, N.J.)