The Princeton University Library’s collections are rich and diverse, with more than 7 million printed works, 5 million manuscripts, and 2 million non-print items including archival materials, maps, and coins. Extensive digital holdings are represented by primary sources, data, images, electronic databases, music and audio files, and video. Princeton’s collections grow and develop through acquisitions, gifts to the Library, and cooperative collection development programs with other research institutions and consortia such as Borrow Direct, NERL (NorthEast Research Libraries), CRL (Center for Research Libraries) and VALE (NJ Libraries Consortium).
A division of Rare Books and Special Collections, this non-circulating collection contains more than 100,000 items, including children’s illustrated books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, and educational toys, from 1480 to the present, and from countries all around the world. The whimsical gallery of the collection is open to the general public.
CPANDA, the Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive, is the world's first interactive digital archive of policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States. It is a collaborative effort of Princeton University's Firestone Library and the Princeton Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.
The Dixon Collection, housed in the DeLong Room of Firestone Library, contains new fiction and popular non-fiction books perfect for leisure reading. Titles circulate for 4 weeks and can be renewed.
An extension of the print Dixon Reading Collection, this collection currently has numerous titles available for downloading or streaming on your own device or reading online, and features bestsellers, award winners, science and technology titles, popular fiction, history, biographies, and much more.
This print collection, located in the Trustee Reading Room, serves as the main reference collection for the Library. Core encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, guides, handbooks, and atlases are included. While all subjects are represented, the collection primarily serves humanities and social sciences researchers. The collection is complemented by thousands of electronic reference tools.
The Library houses major collections of government documents from four entities: the United States Federal Government (1884-), the United Nations (1945-), the European Union (1964-), and the State of New Jersey (1950-). Parts of the document collections were created through special depository agreements designed to ensure public access to vital governmental information. Most of these collections are housed in Firestone Library or in the ReCAP storage facility.
Depository collections are available to the general public only during the hours the Firestone reference desk is staffed. Visitors should check in with the Access Office (or with Library Security if the Access Office is closed) upon arrival. See Procedures for General Public Use of Depository Collections for more information.
The Graphic Arts Collection documents the history of printing and printed books from the 8th century to the present with examples of fine press printing, bookbinding, papermaking, letterform, illustration, and livres d’artistes, as well as a reference collection. Primary source materials include approximately 50,000 prints, drawings, and photographs; blocks, stones, and plates for printmaking; and printed ephemera. To read current updates on the collection see the Graphic Arts Blog.
This collection holds maps printed before 1919 (loose sheets, wall maps, cased maps), some atlases, directories, guides, and related reference works. The collection is especially rich in examples depicting North America, Western Europe, and the Middle East, with large holdings for London, Paris, and New York. Many of the maps have been digitized: high-resolution images are linked to the online catalog records. In addition, there is a small collection of globes and cartographic instruments and materials.
The specialized collections of this unit serve the faculty and graduate students of the University's Industrial Relations Section. Research subjects include unemployment, economics of labor supply and retirement, school quality, minimum wages, and labor turnover and job duration.
Privileging the popular voices of the region, the Latin American Ephemera Collection document numerous political and social movements and a wide variety of key socioeconomic and cultural developments. Collected materials include pamphlets, flyers, non-commercially produced and distributed serials, posters, working papers, government publications, and other non-traditional formats.
Among the treasures of this division of Rare Books and Special Collections are ancient Near East such as clay tablets and papyri; the largest holdings of Arabic and other Islamic manuscripts in North America; medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and documents; literary manuscripts, authors’ papers, publishing archives and other materials relating to English, American, Latin American, and other literatures, especially of the 19th and 20th centuries; American historical manuscripts and papers; and a wide array of other original research materials.
Extensive geographic data collections, along with traditional printed maps are available in this service unit of the Lewis Science Library. Specialized assistance for creating, accessing, and displaying digital maps and training in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) is available. Facilities include a large-format color scanner and HP DesignJet printer.
This Firestone Library-based collection comprises books, newspapers, manuscripts, government publications, dissertations, and other materials on microfilm and microfiche or in microprint.
The Holden Collection on the History of Women is a remarkable collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, cartoons, letters, and other materials about women and their achievements. The collection is particularly strong in biographies of notable women of the past, as well as materials relating to women's rights. Most of the Holden Collection is housed in a dedicated room in Firestone Library, while the most valuable and fragile items have been placed in Rare Books and Special Collections.
The Near East Collection consists of Arabic-, Persian-, Turkish-, and Hebrew-language monographs, serials, and manuscripts. Collection strengths include Islamic manuscripts and medieval Arabic items.
The Data and Statistical Services unit provides access to financial, economic, and other survey data from a wide variety of sources. Assistance is also available in identifying and locating appropriate data sets and using statistical software packages and methodologies.
The Numismatic Collection comprises about 100,000 coins ranging from ancient to modern times, as well as tokens, paper money, and medals. Among its areas of strength are Greek coins of the Levantine coast, Roman Republican silver, paper money of the American colonial and revolutionary periods, and medals relating to aviation. In addition, the collection includes about 30,000 coins from the Princeton excavation of Antioch-on-the-Orontes, ranging from the Persian through the Ottoman periods.
Housed in Stokes Library, the Population Research Collection is one of the premier collections of demographic materials in the country. The collection contains more than 40,000 bound volumes, as well as over 15,000 reprints, technical reports, manuscripts, and working and discussion papers. The collection's subjects encompass the areas of formal demography (fertility, mortality and immigration), population policy, family planning, epidemiology, child and public health, and family issues.
Consiting of high-resolution digital images of selected materials from the Library's rich collections, the Digital Library materials have been chosen to serve the research and teaching needs of the Princeton University community and to showcase the distinctive items housed within the Princeton University Library.
The Public Policy Papers, housed in Mudd Library, include important collections representing individuals and organizations in the areas of 20th-century American foreign policy, jurisprudence, journalism, public policy formation, and international development.
Princeton holds approximately 250,000 rare and historically significant printed books in Western languages. The collection is strong in classical Latin texts; American and English literature and history, especially Restoration and Victorian; Renaissance; Enlightenment; French, German, Latin American literature; history of science; emblem and other illustrated books.
The privately owned Scheide Library houses significant collections of Bibles in manuscript and print, including a Gutenberg and a 36-line Bible; medieval manuscripts and incunabula; printed books on travel and exploration; Americana; music manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and other materials.
The Scribner Room holds a non-circulating gift collection from the publishing firm of Charles Scribner’s Sons. Items include reference works, scholarly journals, major texts, and critical studies that support research in English and American literature.
Housed in Mudd Library, the collections of the University Archives consist of over 10,000 linear feet of records—including trustees minutes, administrative and student records, photographs, and audiovisual materials, and publications—that document the history of Princeton University. The University Archives is also the repository for Princeton senior theses and doctoral dissertations.
This important collection of imprints, manuscripts, photographs, and ephemera documents more than 400 years of political, economic, and social history of the American West. Collection strengths include the American Indian, indigenous peoples and languages, overland narratives, territorial imprints, the cattle trade, mining, Morman history, and popular images of the West. Materials on the Rocky Mountain West of Canada are also included.