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Lecture Notes Collection

The lecture notes in this collection represent over 200 years of student efforts
to record the knowledge and insights presented by Princeton's distinguished
faculty. Starting with the notes on John Witherspoon's lecture on Moral
Philosophy in 1772 taken by Thaddeus Dod, Class of 1773, the collection
concludes with the 1974 notes of Joel Niemi, Class of 1976, for Professor Robert
Bergman's Art and Architecture in Medieval Europe. Some of the lecture notes are
very thorough documents while others are sketchy at best. Most of the notes are
handwritten in lined, bound notebooks or on typical notebook paper. Examples
from the early 19th century serve as models of fine penmanship and often include
ink drawings and even watercolors to illustrate such things as scientific
apparatus (see Frederick Giger's notes for Joseph Henry's Natural Philosophy in
1840) or the Greek classical orders (see Charles Shield's notes for Albert Dod's
Architecture in 1842). Certain courses were highly valued as evidenced by their
frequent appearance in this collection. Researchers can track their evolution
over an extended period. Specific examples include Joseph Henry's Natural
Philosophy, with notes from 1835 to 1857, James McCosh's Psychology, with notes
from 1869 to 1881, and Albert Friend's Northern Renaissance, with notes from
1939 to 1950. The advances in learning are also reflected in the courses offered
over time. Courses in the 20th century with defined subjects such as mathematics
and physics fell under the rubric of Natural Philosophy during the 19th century.
Generalized history and literature courses become specialized as in Professor
Eric Goldman's History of American Liberalism or Professor Carlos Baker's
Romantic Movement in English Literature.Aside from five university presidents (Hibben, Maclean, McCosh, Smith, and
Wilson), there are numerous famous faculty represented in the collection,
including Stephen Alexander, Lyman Atwater, Carlos Baker, Cyril Black, Cyrus
Fogg Brackett, Hadley Cantril, John Duffield, Donald Egbert, Frank Fetter,
Arnold Guyot, Walter “Buzzer” Hall, Joseph Henry, Edwin Kemmerer, Charles Rufus
Morey, Erwin Panofsky, and Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker. Some well-known
students include John Maclean, William Magie, John Duffield, and John Hibben.
Lastly, there is one woman represented in the collection, Louisa B. Maclean, the
niece of President Maclean, who sat in on James Murray's English Literature in 1878 and left behind her notes amidst those of
all the gentlemen.