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

  • Class Reunion Books Collection

    The collection consists of class yearbooks that are published to mark class reunions and to provide updates on the lives of alumni. Many classes have more than one book to commemorate reunions, such as the 10th, 25th, etc. Though each reunion book is unique, they generally contain entries for each class member that list current contact information, occupation, marital status, and usually a short biographical entry detailing activities since graduation.

  • Historical Photograph Collection: Slides series

    Consists of several hundred lantern slides and 35mm slides containing images of Princeton University, primarily the campus and buildings, but also students, faculty and staff. Includes slide shows associated with specific Princeton classes, for example, the class of 1912, as well as slide shows used to promote the university to external audiences, for example, during recruitment trips in the 1970s.

  • Princeton Crusader Fellowship records

    Consists of member lists, constitutions, speeches, articles, newsletters, and
    correspondence of the Princeton Crusader Fellowship. Also included is a bound
    autograph book, signed by most members of the organization from its founding until
    1976 and featuring pictures of some of the more recent members.

  • Alumni and Faculty Offprint Collection

    This collection consists of offprints of articles written by Princeton alumni and faculty; however, in some instances the articles are written about an individual alumni or faculty member. The offprints generally consist of journals, published articles, speeches, lectures, sermons, memorials, and articles from scientific journals and magazines. While the offprints of many of Princeton's notable alumni and professors are found within this collection, a sizable number by Henry Fairfield Osborn, A. F. Buddington, Gerhard Fankhauser, Harold R. Medina, Whitney J. Oates, and William J.

  • Frustrated Administrators Committee Records

    Consists of meeting announcements and a brief history of the Frustrated
    Administrators Committee.

  • U.S.S. Princeton [C.V.L.-23] Collection

    Consists of research materials for the book Carrier Down: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Princeton (1990), co-authored by Thomas I. Bradshaw and Marsha L. Clark.

  • Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students Records

    The records of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students contain correspondence with other administrators and students, memoranda, press releases, subject files of clippings and notes, pamphlets, and brochures. As a high-level University administrator, some of this material is duplicated in other University Archives collections. The records primarily document the Dean's supervision of student organizations and participation on committees; however, there are also files dedicated to disciplinary infractions, athletics, and almost any topic which in some way pertains to students.

  • School of Engineering and Applied Science Records

    The School of Engineering and Applied Science Records document Princeton University's engineering program from its origins in the Departments of Civil and Electrical Engineering to the present day. The bulk of the records are those of the Office of the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science; however, all of the major Departments save Computer Science and Operations Research and Financial Engineering are represented as well. Also included in this collection are the records of the Princeton Engineering Association, the school's main alumni organization.

  • Department of Grounds and Buildings Technical Correspondence Records

    The collection consists largely of correspondence among architects, contractors, donors, and university officials, as well as inter-office memos concerning the construction, maintenance, and removal of buildings. Although many of the documents are of a desultory nature, in some instances they provide detailed information about the design of a building and the process by which an idea was transformed into concrete reality.

  • Lottery Records

    Box one contains twentieth-century articles about the lotteries, as well as materials from a 1954 University Library exhibit on the lotteries. Boxes two and three contain eighteenth-century lottery documents about the following five lotteries: the Philadelphia Lottery (1749-1750), the Connecticut Lottery (1753-1754), the New Jersey College Lottery (1761), the New Jersey College Lottery (1763-1764), and the Delaware Lottery (1772-1774). All drawings were held in the locations specified except the New Jersey College Lottery of 1761, which was held in Philadelphia.

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