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

  • Triangle Club Board of Trustee Records

    The collection documents the governance of the Triangle Club by its graduate Board of Trustees, particularly under the chairmanship of John Ball '52 (1973-1985), and includes bylaws, correspondence, reports and meeting agendas and minutes. The materials cover the pivotal period in the late 1960s and early 1970s during which Princeton University and the Triangle Club became coeducational institutions. The collection also includes minutes of the board of trustees meetings for 1983-1992 and 2006-2011.

  • Princeton Scientific Expeditions Collection

    The manuscript, printed and photographic materials in the collection are duly
    noted in the folder descriptions. Folders labeled as “Archival description and
    notes” contain information on the expeditions randomly gathered by the compiler
    of this collection, with pertinent xeroxes and relevant correspondence that
    document each expedition. The geological expeditions are most fully represented.
    The journeys of other categories are noted by scant documentation.

  • Pyne Honor Prize Records

    The collection documents the annual awarding of the Pyne Honor Prize from 1939-1960. Within each year's file is correspondence, biographical and academic information about the recipients, and award statements.

  • Cyrus Fogg Brackett Lectureship Records

    The lecturer files contain correspondence, lecture manuscripts, and published lectures–although rarely all three. The other materials include lecture schedules, a biography of Professor Brackett, lists and directories of the lecturers, a scrapbook of clippings, and histories of the lectureship.

  • Patrick J. Kelleher Papers

    Consists of correspondence, publications, notes, press releases, schedules, and photographs collected by Patrick J. Kelleher over the course of his directorship of the Princeton University Art Museum. Also included are syllabi and course materials from a museology seminar Kelleher taught, and awards received from other museums and institutions.

  • Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers

    This collection contains correspondence, financial reports, papers and memoranda relating to numerous Princeton University associations and organizations. The correspondence is virtually all between Bunn and his classmates, friends, and University officials, though some letters from family members are included. The most voluminous series of papers relate to the Class of 1907, The Daily Princetonian, the Princeton Triangle (the file contains a handwritten letter from F.

  • James Penrose Harland papers

    From the time he was 15 years old until several years before his death in 1973, James Penrose Harland maintained a diary, journal, or daily log in which he recorded a few notes about each day's events. These yearly volumes, written in his own hand, comprise the bulk of the collection. Also included are clippings, photographs, postcards, and some correspondence.

  • Office of Communications Records

    The Office of Communications Records document a wide range of public University activities and dealings. Most files contain press releases, clippings of University publicity and outside press coverage, and, in some cases, correspondence. Subjects include regular University business as well as special events, University policies, individual departments, faculty members, student activities and life, and dealings with alumni and donors. The records also contain large numbers of photographs and contact prints created by Office of Communication staff photographers.

  • Grover Cleveland Collection

    The Grover Cleveland Collection consists of collected research materials regarding Grover Cleveland, his life in Princeton, and his relation to the University. The papers document a variety of topics both broad in nature (his work as a Trustee) and highly specific (a Venezualan table he received as a gift). Also in the collection are letters sent to the University by early researchers inquiring about Cleveland, facsimiles of speeches, and files on other biographical topics such as Cleveland's birthplace, gravesite, and family members.

  • Triangle Club Records

    The Triangle Club Records can be used not only to document the performances and business activities of one of the oldest college theatre groups in the country, but also to examine an aspect of student life as it relates to politics, social customs, and student mores. In its one-hundred-plus-year history, Triangle has spoofed perennial Princeton topics such as classroom etiquette, examinations, dating, living arrangements, and dining, as well as broader topics such as women's rights, Vietnam, Watergate, and academic trends.

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