Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Cameron, Henry C. (Henry Clay), -1906 and Cameron family
Cameron Family Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1805-1947 (mostly 1850-1945)
83 boxes and 56 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-63; 73-75; 79-83
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 64-72; 76-78
English French


The Cameron Family Papers consist primarily of the correspondence and writings of former Princeton University professors Henry Clay Cameron (1827-1906) and his son, A. Guyot Cameron (1864-1947), with some correspondence relating to Henry C. Cameron's wife, Wilhelmina "Mina" Louise Cécile Chollet (1832-1908). There is also a significant amount of Cameron family photographs as well as some documents, printed matter, and ephemera relating to Princeton University. Famed Swiss-American geologist, geographer, and Princeton professor Arnold Henry Guyot (1807-1884), a relative of the Cameron family through marriage, is also represented in the collection through classroom maps, correspondence, a journal, and printed articles and lectures by and about Guyot. Most of the materials in the collection are professional in nature.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Among several topics represented in this collection, the Cameron Family Papers provides a fair amount of documentation of Princeton University from the perspective of faculty and students during the second half of the 19th century. The collection consists primarily of the papers of Princeton University professors and alumni Henry C. Cameron and his son A. Guyot Cameron, including personal and professional correspondence; writings, such as essays, articles, manuscripts, and lectures that date from their time as students and professionals; and various documents relating to the university, such as ephemera, administrative and committee records, class materials, as well as an impressive amount of biographical information about the Princeton Class of 1886. Also included are a significant number of photographs of family and friends, and some personal papers, such as financial items, ephemera, and printed matter.

Swiss geologist, geographer, and Princeton professor Arnold Henry Guyot is also represented in the collection through maps Guyot created for his classes, correspondence, and printed articles and lectures by and about Guyot, as is Henry C. Cameron's wife, Mina Chollet Cameron, mostly through correspondence.

While most of the collection is in English, a fair number of letters, particularly those of Mina Chollet Cameron and Arnold Henry Guyot, are in French.


The collection has been organized into the following series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Cameron, Henry C. (Henry Clay), -1906

Henry Clay Cameron, Presbyterian minister and long-time professor of Greek at Princeton University, played an active role in both the university and the church. Cameron, who also had an avid interest in history, was also involved in local and state historical societies and organizations as well as history-related initiatives in and around the town of Princeton.

Born on September 1, 1827 in Shepardstown, Virginia, to John Cameron and Anna McFall Cameron, Henry Cameron attended Princeton University (then The College of New Jersey), entering the junior class in 1845, and receiving an A.B. with honors two years later. After spending the next three years in Virginia teaching at King George Court House, Cameron returned to Princeton to enter the Theological Seminary and obtained an A.M. degree in 1855. While attending the seminary, Cameron served as Principal of the Edgehill School (Princeton) in 1851 and also acted as a tutor of Greek at Princeton beginning in 1852. He was named an adjunct professor of Greek in 1855, associate professor in 1860, and full professor the following year, becoming Princeton's first chair of Greek language and literature. He earned a doctorate degree from Princeton in 1866, and a D.D. from both Rutgers and Wooster in 1875.

In 1858, Cameron married Wilhelmina "Mina" Louise Cécile Chollet (1832-1908), daughter of Abram Louis Guillaume "William" Chollet (1798-1855) and Marianne Constance Guyot (1801-1864). Originally from Switzerland, Mina immigrated to the United States in 1849. She lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a time and taught at an all-girls school in Connecticut before marrying Cameron and moving to Princeton.

It was also in 1858 that Cameron received his license to preach. He was ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia on February 1, 1863.

At Princeton University, in addition to his professorship, Cameron served as an instructor of French and Latin from 1859 to 1870, as a librarian from 1865 to 1872, and also taught private Hebrew classes. For twenty years (1866-1886) he was the editor of Princeton's General Catalogue. He also became a member of the General Assembly, serving during the years 1875, 1887, and 1900; was clerk of the faculty from 1882 to 1902; and for a time, served as secretary of the Alumni Association of Nassau Hall. Cameron published numerous articles and essays during his tenure as well as the "Princeton Roll of Honor" (1865), a list of Princeton students who fought for the Union during the Civil War. He also published a series of classical wall maps with famed Swiss- American geologist and geographer Arnold Henry Guyot. Guyot, who also taught at Princeton, was the uncle of Cameron's wife, Mina.

Upon becoming a Professor Emeritus in 1902-- the fiftieth anniversary of teaching at the university-- Cameron spent the last days of his life in retirement in Princeton. He died on October 25, 1906, during an operation.

Collection History


The bulk of the collection, including the papers of Henry C. Cameron and A. Guyot Cameron, was donated by Nicholas G. Cameron, the son of A. Guyot Cameron in 1952 (AM 14716) and 1970 (AM 20172). The rest consists of gifts from other family members that were donated throughout the years as well as purchases from various sources, mainly those who corresponded with Henry C. Cameron, A. Guyot Cameron, and Arnold Henry Guyot.


No appraisal information for the initial processing of this collection is available.

In 2022, multiple Princeton University-related printed materials that had been separated from the collection were removed from the collection as it was determined that these items were duplicates of those included in university archives collections. A few university-related items that may have been unique were transferred to university archives for evaluation and disposition.

Processing Information

A significant portion of the collection was treated for mold in 2014 and 2016.

Preservation photocopies were made for a sizeable number of letters and writings that are in very poor condition during processing work that occurred before 2014.

Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in 2014 with assistance from Luise Zhong '2016.

The portion of the collection that underwent mold remediation was rehoused in 2016. In 2022, three items that had been separated from the collection were (re)integrated: Volume II No. 9 of the publication "The Youth's Dayspring" (September, 1851), Press of T. R. Marvin, Boston, was added to printed materials associated with Henry C. Cameron; and the monthly publication "Series of Tracts" by D. A. Borrenstein (Princeton, NJ), Volume 1, No. 4 (December 1824) and Volume 2, No. 6 (February 1826), were added to printed materials associated with Arnold Guyot. Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Most of the collection is open for research use.

Some original letters and writings, for which preservation copies were made, as well as Arnold Guyot's cloth maps, are restricted due to their poor condition.

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.

Many of the materials in the first two series, "Henry Clay Cameron Papers" and "Mina Chollet Cameron Papers" are in fragile condition and should be handled with care. These series, particularly the latter, also include a significant number of preservation photocopies that are somewhat illegible.

Credit this material:

Cameron Family 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:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-63; 73-75; 79-83
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 64-72; 76-78