Top 10 PUL stories from 2020

Climate change research propelled by PUL's geospatial resources

smoke from factoryWhat will it take for the U.S. to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050? How can steel plants transition from coal power to renewable energy? To what extent do rising sea-levels affect housing prices? Researchers across campus are utilizing Princeton University Library's Maps and Geospatial Information Center to answer these questions. 

Highly anticipated T.S. Eliot letters, among best known sealed literary archives, open at Princeton University after more than 60 years

Sealed crateOn Jan. 2, 2020, a collection of 1,131 letters from Nobel laureate and renowned writer Thomas Stearns Eliot, better known as T.S. Eliot, to his lifelong friend Emily Hale will open for research at Princeton University Library. Dating from 1930 to 1957, the letters are the largest single series of Eliot’s correspondence and among the best known sealed literary archives in the world. 

Virtual dives into the archives: How classes transitioned mid-semester to teaching with Special Collections online

With the transition to a remote academic environment midway through the spring 2020 semester, Princeton University’s faculty, library staff, and students worked together to keep calm and continue teaching with Special Collections buoyed by technology and ingenuity, digitization efforts, and an overarching commitment to higher learning.  

Afrofuturism: How Octavia Butler is moving us forward

Parable of the Sower book coverOctavia E. Butler was a visionary African American author, who imagined an alternate future for herself and our shared world. Through her writing, Butler challenged gender stereotypes in American fiction, white privilege in their narratives, and racism in her profession. She helped reshape the genre of science fiction by offering grounded, naturalistic stories in which characters like herself could flourish.

Virtual reality programming at PUL offers Princeton opportunities to learn in an immersive extended reality

Student in VR goggles
A new virtual reality program at Princeton University Library, hosted by Stokes Library, now offers Princeton University students, faculty, and staff unique opportunities to virtually immerse themselves in their work, both in and outside of the classroom. From virtually experiencing the Battle of Fallujah in order to inform military intervention and public policy to practicing public speaking skills in front of a virtual crowd, the equipment enables Princetonians to enhance their pedagogical experiences, engaging with a realistic, interactive environment. 

Princeton University Library begins collection of oral histories of student, faculty, staff, and alumni experiences with COVID-19

spring campusTo document Princetonians’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton University Library has begun to collect oral histories from students, faculty, staff, and alumni for the University Archives. The COVID-19 & Me: Oral History Project, led by Project Archivist for Student Life Valencia L. Johnson, aims to archive how people in the Princeton community are experiencing the effects of the ongoing crisis.

Teaching with collections: ‘America Then and Now’

Gabriel Swift teaching studentsThis fall semester, Princeton undergraduates in the team-taught course “America Then and Now” explored the shaping of America through a range of experiences in and outside the classroom. In mid-November, the nearly 100 students in the course visited Princeton University Library’s Special Collections to gain hands-on experience in archival research. 

PUL’s inclusive description working group shares progress on effort to describe collections accurately, respectfully

Michelle Robinson in 1984A team of archivists at Princeton University Library's Special Collections is working to describe archival materials in a manner that is accurate and respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections.  

Selections from Library collections: Native American life and culture

Native American womanPrinceton University Library (PUL) highlights a sampling of our collections on Native American life and culture, including phonotapes, advocacy records, newspapers, postcards, photographs, and manuscripts. PUL is committed to preserving, featuring, and supporting historically underrepresented voices in the collections.

'In Pursuit of the Picturesque': PUL’s new exhibition showcases British color plates from the 18th and 19th centuries

Gallery image"In Pursuit of the Picturesque," an exhibition featuring British color plate books published between 1776 and 1868, opens at the Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery, located in the Firestone Library lobby, on Jan. 22. Showcasing selected items from the collection of Leonard L. Milberg, Princeton University Class of 1953, the exhibition includes nearly 40 large books with colorful, detailed imagery from the British Empire at the turn of the 19th century.

Compiled by Emily Judd, Library Communications Coordinator

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications

Published on Jan. 6, 2021.