Princeton University History

The Princeton University Archives consists of over 15,000 linear feet of records including administration records (presidents, provosts, deans, and department records, faculty files, undergraduate and graduate alumni files); photographs and other audiovisual materials; and publications that document the history of Princeton University. The University Archives is also the repository for Princeton senior theses and doctoral dissertations.

Additional historical information about Princeton University

Alexander Leitch's A Princeton Companion (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978) contains biographies of University presidents, trustees, deans, noted alumni, and prominent professors. Other topics include academic department histories, athletics, campus buildings, research, and student activities. Unviersity members can access the book via JSTOR.

A host of historical facts about Princeton University are available online through the University's main web page.  In addition to A Princeton Companion, researchers will find links that provide further details on the Presidents of Princeton University, Princeton's History, the Princetoniana Committee, and information on the American Revolution and Princeton.

The Daily Princetonian Archives are available online as well.

Collections with Divisional Holdings

  • Princeton History of New Jersey Series collection

    The collection consists of Thomas J. Wertenbaker's correspondence pertaining to the Princeton History of New Jersey Series, a set of volumes by different historians exploring a different aspect or period in New Jersey's development. Though Wertenbaker himself did not write a volume, he coordinated the efforts of the historians involved and acted as an advisor throughout the project.

  • Department of Art and Archaeology Records

    Consists of the records of the Department of Art and Archaeology. Included are
    advisory council minutes; faculty files; records of gifts and endowments to the
    Department; correspondence; copies of recommendations written for graduates and
    undergraduates; files pertaining to renovation and expansion projects at the Art
    Museum and Marquand library; course lists; files on art-related organizations and
    museums; and published and unpublished materials documenting the Department's

  • Hikoichi Orita Diary

    The diary is photocopied in two volumes. The first volume dates from January 1, 1872 to December 31, 1873 and the second, from January 1, 1874 to December 31, 1876. The handwritten entries are for the most part quite legible and written in English, but the memoranda, which are placed at the end of each year, are written in Japanese. There are also listings of bills and accounts by month.Generally, the entries are brief.

  • William R. Weeks Papers

    The files contain research Weeks did on the earliest beginnings of the College of New
    Jersey, now known as Princeton University, with particular attention to the College's
    first endowment. This research includes typewritten copies of New Jersey Archives
    relating to the College, typewritten reprints of various editions of The First
    History of the College (published in 1752-4) and The Diary of Samuel Davies (1753-5),

  • Office of the President Records: Harold T. Shapiro Subgroup

    The Office of the President Records: Harold T. Shapiro document the administration of Princeton's eighteenth president, Harold T. Shapiro through correspondence, memoranda, press releases, and other materials. Topics found in the records include University finances, alumni fundraising, and Princeton’s 250th anniversary celebration. Also present are records documenting Shapiro’s interactions with students, faculty, staff, and various academic departments.Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.

  • Bureau of Student Placement records

    Consists of army, navy, and marine corps plans for colleges, card files containing information about students in the service, and the correspondence of director Gordon G. Sikes which includes letters to and from servicemen, military officials, and other University administrators.

  • Dr. and Mrs. Arnold S. Breitbart Collection on Moe Berg

    Consists of Berg baseball cards, newspaper clippings relating to his baseball career, photographs of Berg, one U.S. Army memo, Berg's declassified OSS file, and one exhibition poster.

  • Steering Committee for the 20th Anniversary of Coeducation Records

    The material in this collection consists largely of correspondence, memoranda, and meeting minutes that document a fluid exchange of ideas among Steering Committee members and the University community to mark the celebration of the 20th anniversary of coeducation at Princeton.

  • Princeton University Summer Institutes and Cooperative Affiliates Collection

    This collection consists of program materials and reports from summer institutes
    and curriculum development programs based at Princeton University whose goals
    were to improve the education of primary and secondary school students, as well
    as to provide specialized training for scientific researchers. It includes
    materials from the Summer Institue for Chemistry Teachers, the Junion High

  • John W. H. Simpson Photograph Collection

    Consists of negatives, contact sheets, and slides of John W. H. Simpson's photographs of Princeton.

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