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

  • 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

  • Special Committee on the Structure of the University Records

    Consists primarily of correspondence, memoranda, and reports generated by Stanley Kelley, Chair of the Special Committee on the Structure of the
    University. Background material on student organization, the Institute for Defense Analysis, and numerous facets of college governance rounds out
    the collection.

  • Charles E. Fehon Papers

    The Charles E. Fehon Papers consist primarily of original artwork created by Fehon during the process of designing sets and costumes for Princeton theater groups including Theatre Intime, University Players, and the Triangle Club. It also contains a small amount of scripts and notes related to his theatrical design work.

  • Nassau Hall War Memorial records

    The records document the planning and execution of the memorial to Princeton students of the Second World War, including pictures, preliminary lists of honorees, correspondence with parents and campus groups, and programs from the memorial's unveiling ceremony. Also included is some information about other war memorials in Nassau Hall.

  • Historical Photograph Collection: Individuals series

    Consists of photographs of notable visitors to Princeton University. Also included are some images of staff.

  • Princeton University Rowing Collection

    Consists of photographs, memorabilia, scrapbooks, programs, correspondence and
    posters documenting the history of the Princeton University rowing program. Much
    of the material is oversized.

  • Alan W. Richards Photographs of Princeton University Athletics, 1946-1970

    Alan W. Richards Photographs of Princeton University Athletics, 1946-1970 consists of photographic negatives and a very few photographic prints of images captured by Alan W. Richards of Princeton University athletes and sports events. Approximately 3/4 of the images are related to Princeton University football. These include shots of individual players, coaches, and staff, as well as action shots of games and activities at Blairstown training camp. The Princeton University varsity, junior varsity, freshman and 150 lb. football teams are represented.

  • Frederick H. Osborn Papers

    The files relate exclusively to Princeton. They include correspondence and reports
    related to Osborn's service as a charter trustee and member of various advisory
    committees, during which time one major project was the commissioning of a
    Carnegie-funded “Study of Education at Princeton University.” Also detailed is
    Osborn's later work on the computerization of the University data files for the
    improvement of the admissions process.

  • Princeton Playgoers, Inc. records

    Consists of financial records, correspondence, records of ticket sales,
    advertisements, contracts, and other materials documenting the planning and
    production of plays at McCarter Theatre in the summer of 1942.

  • William G. Bowen Collection on the Federal Government and Princeton University

    Consists of notes and research materials compiled by William G. Bowen for use in his study The Federal Government and Princeton University, a report on the complex funding and research relationships between the two institutions. The notes reflect interviews Bowen conducted with faculty and staff. A copy of his final report and a paper published by the U.S. Congress on a similar subject are also included.

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