Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Richardson, Ernest Cushing, 1860-1939
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Ernest Cushing Richardson Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
20 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-20


Consists of the personal papers of Ernest Cushing Richardson, librarian of Princeton University Library from 1890 till 1925.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Richardson's personal papers. Included are a typed manuscript with holograph corrections of an early edition of the Richardson library classification system and correspondence with various libraries and librarians, as well as correspondence between Richardson and his family, including his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. James C. Richardson. Also included are photographs of the Richardson family, documents such as his diploma from Amherst College (1880) and the wills of his sister-in-law Mary Ely Bassett and her husband, and a genealogy of the Ely family. In addition, there are engagement books for the years 1881, 1886, 1909-1910, 1912-1916, 1918-1919, as well as business and financial papers.


Arranged in this order: works (including engagement books), correspondence, photographs, documents, business and financial papers.

Collection Creator Biography:

Richardson, Ernest Cushing, 1860-1939

Ernest Cushing Richardson (1860-1939) was an American librarian, theologian and scholar who made significant contributions to the field of American librarianship. He was the University Librarian for Princeton University from 1890 to 1925, and during his tenure invented a new cataloging system that was specific to the Princeton library, often called the "Princeton system" or the "Richardson system". In 1925, Richardson became consultant to the Library of Congress. He died in Switzerland in 1939.

Collection History


Gift of Gregg Dougherty '17.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions pertaining to a particular author.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory added by Fadzilah Yahaya GS in 2011.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

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:

Ernest Cushing Richardson Collection; 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): Box 1-20