Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Finley, Samuel, 1715-1766
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Samuel Finley Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists of selected correspondence and documents of Samuel Finley, fifth president of Princeton University.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of selected correspondence and documents of Finley. Included are several receipts for payments of his salary, Finley's outline for the process of commencement in 1764, and a manuscript titled "A Forensic Disputation in the Presence of the Rev. Mr. Sam. Finley, President of Nassau Hall, the 29th of January, 1763." The subject of this debate was "Is it reasonable to suppose that preternatural Apparitions & Witchcraft do exist : or are they meer Creatures of the Imagination?" Correspondents include Joseph Bellamy, Richard Stockton (trustee of the College of New Jersey), and Eliezer Wheelock.


Arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Finley, Samuel, 1715-1766

Samuel Finley, fifth president of The College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), was a Scotch-Irishman who came to the United States when he was nineteen. One of the original trustees of the college, Finley succeeded Samuel Davies as president on May 31, 1761. His presidency was marked by a steady growth in enrollment, and he was respected and beloved by the students.

Collection History


Various AM.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by James Flannery on February 8, 2006. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

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:

Samuel Finley 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