Highlighting archival materials about and by Black and Latinx communities: Selections from the Mudd Library blog

James Everett Ward ’47 and Arthur Jewell Wilson ’47 outside Laughlin Hall, 1946.

James Everett Ward ‘47 (left) and Arthur Jewell Wilson ‘47 (right) were two of the first four known African American undergraduates to enroll at Princeton University, photographed outside their dorm in 1946. An unknown number of African American graduate students attended the University in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP215, Image No. 5644.


Princeton University Library is committed to promoting access to archival materials about and by underrepresented communities. The following is a selection of blog posts written by staff at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library highlighting materials of Black and Latinx people in the Princeton University Archives.

Acción Puertorriqueña and Divisions Among Puerto Ricans at Princeton by Mario Garcia ’18
Founded in 1972, Acción Puertorriqueña—later known as Acción Puertorriqueña y Amigos—was a student group initially consisting of Puerto Rican undergraduates and later allies who sought to create spaces for Puerto Rican cultures on Princeton’s campus through cultural events and student-led activism.

Caroline Le Count's Visit to Princeton by April C. Armstrong *14 and Iliyah Coles ’22
Caroline Le Count was a prominent African American activist and educator in Philadelphia in the 19th century, referred to as “Philly’s Rosa Parks” for working to dismantle streetcar segregation in the city.

Integrating Princeton University: Robert Joseph Rivers '53 by April C. Armstrong *14
Robert Rivers was the first African American elected to Princeton University’s Board of Trustees. Rivers and his family remind us of just how much can change in a lifetime, and how a handful of people pressing Princeton to live up to its expressed ideals shaped how the institution understands itself today.

'We Envision a World Where the Night Belongs to No One': Intersectionality and Take Back the Night by Mario Garcia ’18
Take Back the Night is part of an international movement that provides an annual opportunity for communities to stand with survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault and to advocate for social reform that addresses these issues. At Princeton University, a group of students initiated the event in 1987. Throughout the years, the march has taken various forms.

What Archival Silence Conceals--and Reveals: Recovering Princeton University's 19th-Century African American Graduate Alumni by April C. Armstrong *14
Princeton University educated more black men than it was willing to acknowledge prior to World War II, and due to the actions of those who came before us, we will probably never know all of their names.

Compiled by April C. Armstrong, Special Collections Assistant IV, Emily Judd, Communications Coordinator, and Stephanie Ramírez, Communications Specialist and Staff Writer

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications