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Friends of Princeton University Library

The Friends of the Princeton University Library play a vital role in supporting the acquisitions and operations of the Library, while enjoying regular programs and unique opportunities to participate in special events. The Friends welcome all members of the community who have an interest in books, libraries, manuscripts, and the graphic arts.

Friends can support the Library by helping with new acquisitions or by donating to the Anniversary Fund, which will increase the Library's resources for additions to the Special Collections. New items will periodically be listed under "Acquisitions Program" (see menu to right), and all are invited to help with their purchase. For donations to the Anniversary Fund please contact Linda Oliveira.

The 75th Anniversary: The Lure of the Library

The Friends of the Princeton University Library will celebrate their 75 Anniversary during 2005-2006.

On the evening of March 28, 1930, at a small dinner party at the Union Club in New York City a group of Princetonians formed the Friends of the Princeton University Library (FPUL). These founders knew quite well the significance and the challenge of their undertaking—to help create and maintain a world class scholarly university library which would require substantial resources, in-kind donations of collections, and  the wherewithal to acquire those items deemed necessary by the University. That they did so in the midst of the Great Depression seems all the more remarkable.

The FPUL has evolved from this small group of wealthy, dedicated donors to a large heterogeneous organization of benefactors, alumni, faculty, and others associated with Princeton—all students in the broadest sense of the word. The activities of the FPUL now encompass the publication of the Princeton University Library Chronicle, special lectures, sponsorship of fellowships, annual dinners with distinguished speakers, a book collectors group, an undergraduate book collecting contest, special publications, and the capacity to add to the Library’s resources through the purchase of needed items for the special collections.

The 75th Anniversary of the FPUL, from Spring 2005 through Winter 2006, will celebrate many of its facets. There will be an exhibition in the main gallery of the Firestone Library on the history of the FPUL and of their service to Princeton, a history of the 75 years of  the FPUL will be published, and several special programs and distinguished lectures will be presented; the first of these will be given by Professor Toni Morrison on Sunday, April 3, 2005.

Over the past few years, the activities of the FPUL have grown primarily in terms of services to the members and the Princeton community.  During this same period, the ability of the Library to add needed items to the special collection have been curtailed through fiscal constraints:  the Library has not been able to compete with other institutions for many significant items. The Executive Committee of the Council of the FPUL has therefore voted to establish The Friends Anniversary Fund to enable the library to become competitive with other institutions, so that resources can be acquired essential for the full intellectual and creative activities and development of our students and faculty, now and in the future.  This will be a major effort.

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