Contents and Arrangement

Papers related to Lloyd Cotsen's private art collections, 1995-2021

13 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The Lloyd Cotsen papers primarily consist of personal effects once belonging to Lloyd Cotsen related to his varied interests. Lloyd Cotsen (1929-2017), class of 1950 at Princeton University, was the president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Neutrogena Corporation until he sold the company to Johnson and Johnson in 1994. After selling the company, Cotsen devoted much of his time to philanthropic endeavors related to his collection interests including: archaeology, children's books, Japanese bamboo baskets, and textiles.

The first series includes material related to Cotsen's time at Neutrogena including personal and business effects, photo albums, awards, video cassettes related to the business, and Cotsen's contributions to Neutrogena's art collections and exhibitions (1949-2009).

The second series includes material documenting Cotsen's collection practices, exhibitions of his collection material, and the subsequent donation of his collections and philanthropic contributions to various organizations (1995-2021).

The third series comprises material which documents the production of Cotsen Occasional Press publications (1996-2018) including: Japanese Bamboo Baskets (1999), Early Chinese Textiles from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection (2015), The Box Project (2016), Education in the Earliest Schools (2008), and Lloyd Cotsen Study Collection of Chinese Bronze Mirrors (2012).

The fourth series comprises correspondence, personal notebooks, photographs, articles, and unpublished festschrifts in honor of Cotsen which are related to Cotsen's archaeological interests including excavations he participated in and financially contributed to, especially excavations at Urkesh in Syria (1952-2017).

The fifth series includes undated photographs taken by Cotsen on various subjects and at various geographic locations.

The sixth series includes various awards, memorabilia, gifts, prints, and artwork that Cotsen received across his lifetime (1965-2017).

The seventh series includes undated card files created by or for Cotsen detailing business contacts, art and antiquity dealers, restaurants, hotels, and places of interest in various US states and cities; business contacts, art and antiquity dealers, restaurants, hotels, and places of interest in various countries; an incomplete card catalog of Cotsen Children's Library purchases; a file containing material related to Cotsen's retirement; and a file containing miscellaneous recipes. All cards are arranged in alphabetical order.


Material is arranged by box so that like objects are stored together, but in no particular order.

Collection History

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single copies may be made for research purposes. No further duplication 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 Special Collections 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.

Special Requirements for Access:

Audio-Visual material, particularly video cassettes including Betamax, VCR, and other formats are included in the first series "Lloyd Cotsen papers related to Neutrogena". All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Patrons may request digital copies of original analog media. Turn-around time for such requests will depend on the size and scope of the project. Requests should be directed to Public Services staff.

Credit this material:

Papers related to Lloyd Cotsen's private art collections; Lloyd E. Cotsen Papers, COTSEN6, Cotsen Children's Library, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-1148
Storage Note:
ReCAP (rcpxc): Boxes 8-14; 61-66