“Princeton 275” celebrates Princeton’s 275 years as found within the University Archives

Photo of title wall describing the Princeton 275 exhibitA new exhibition is now open at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library to help commemorate the 275th anniversary of Princeton University’s founding.

Princeton University began as neither a university, nor part of the town of Princeton. Its first charter, dated October 22, 1746, established it as “The College of New Jersey” in Elizabeth. It moved to Newark in 1747, and finally to its current home in 1756. Yet there have been more than these three “Princetons,” as each generation of Princetonians has been a part of the institution’s story of continual expansion and change.

This exhibition’s selections provide a sort of “appetizer” of the story of Princeton’s 275 years found within the University Archives. Such a small group of items can’t show every facet of how Princeton came to be what it is today. Instead, these materials reflect the perspective that although there have been some moments of significant disruption, looking back, one sees a continuous process of transformation.

Black and white photo of Peter Putnam ’42 *50 and his guide dog Wick at Commencement, 1950. Historical Photos Collection

Peter Putnam ’42 *50 and his guide dog Wick at Commencement, 1950. Historical Photograph Collection

Copy of

Graduate Record of Nazik Sadek Malaika, 1950. Graduate Alumni Records

Copy of

LGBT Student Services Calendar, 2005. Princeton University Printed Materials Collection


It may be the case that the only thing that never changes at Princeton is that Princeton is always changing–expanding to include more people and more ideas. Looking at these sometimes unfamiliar faces and forgotten moments may help one to view Princeton’s story in a fresh way. 

The exhibition is curated by April C. Armstrong *14, Rosalba Varallo Recchia, and Iliyah Coles ’22; exhibition graphic design by Barbara Valenza; exhibition project management by Stephanie Wiener.

The exhibition is currently open to the public during regular Mudd Library hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Read about some of the stories behind the items in the exhibition: Mudd Princeton 275 Blog

Learn more about current and upcoming PUL exhibitions.

Explore PUL’s digital exhibitions.

Read more about past exhibitions: Inside the Milberg Gallery news series

Published May 6, 2022

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications