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. This resource is available online and is searchable by keyword.

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

  • Dean Mathey Papers

    The collection documents Mathey's familial relationships, service to Princeton, tennis career, and other activities from his undergraduate days to the end of his life. The collection includes correspondence relating to Mathey's undergraduate career, his time as 1st Lieutenant with the American Expeditionary Force, his service as a member of Princeton's Board of Trustees, and personal correspondence from Mathey and his wife Gertrude to their sons.

  • Holland Donan, Class of 1951, Papers

    Consists of newspaper clippings, correspondence, and photographs relating to Donan’s football career at Princeton and his 1984 induction into the National Football Hall of Fame. Also included is a Princeton Varsity mug inscribed with Donan’s name.

  • Program in Continuing Education records

    Consists of the general records of the Program in Continuing Education, including advertisements, faculty committee minutes, fundraising reports, statistics on attendance, director's files, and scholarship applications.

  • Princeton Listening Center Records

    The Records of the Princeton Listening Center consist of transcripts of Axis and Allied propaganda broadcasts monitored by the Listening Center staff from November 1939 through May 1941 until the operations of the Center were taken over by the Federal Communications Commission of the United States government. Also included are subject and research files of the organization, as well as reports published by the members.

  • Bullock Princeton Football collection

    The Bullock Princeton Football collection consists of publications and clippings pertaining to Princeton University Football. Frequent sources include Princeton Athletic News, The Daily Princetonian, and the New York Times.

  • George R. Beach Princeton Football Scrapbooks Collection

    Consists of bound scrapbooks assembled by George R. Beach documenting Princeton's
    football team. The scrapbooks contain game programs as well as articles from the
    Princeton Alumni Weekly and other local papers. Each
    scrapbook is arranged chronologically and covers a period of 1 to 3 seasons.

  • Office of the Provost Records

    Though the records of the Office of the Provost contain some material that is duplicated in other University record groups (such as those of the Office of the President and the dean of the faculty), there are specific subjects that this collection documents especially well. The provost (rather than the president) has primary responsibility for oversight of the University's affirmative action programs, computing, the University Library, the Art Museum, and the Plasma Physics Lab, which results in extensive documentation of these topics.

  • Willis M. Rivinus Papers on the Sally Frank case

    Consists of research materials gathered by Rivinus (Princeton Class of 1950) documenting the legal case of ’Sally Frank v. Ivy Club, University Cottage Club, Tiger Inn and the Trustees of Princeton University’, which was formally begun in 1979 and continues to the present (1991). Included in the Papers are correspondence (1986-1988), a manuscript and notes (1987-1989) for an article Rivinus authored about the case, legal briefs (1979-1989) of the case, and related newspaper clippings (1985-1991).

  • Student Academic Work Collection

    This collection consists of essays, notes on readings, laboratory notebooks, drawings and similar academic work products created by Princeton students. This collection does not contain lecture notes or examinations, which are maintained in dedicated collections.

  • 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

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