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

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Conference papers

    Consists of twelve papers on the FBI presented at a conference sponsored by the
    Committee for Public Justice and held at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public
    and International Affairs in October 1971.

  • Princeton Cooperative School Program Records

    The collection consists of correspondence, classroom material, printed material, reports, minutes, and proposals. The material primarily concerns staff, students, administration, program planning and outcome, budget, and participating high schools. Like materials relating to the Secondary School Science Project and Princeton-Trenton Institute are also included.PCSP curriculum and the instructors' ideas for and reflections on the curriculum are particularly well documented in reports.

  • Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship records

    The records consist of fundraising files, committee correspondence, scholarship applications, correspondence with scholarship winners, and lists of winners.

  • Office of the Dean of the College Records

    The Princeton University Office of the Dean of the College Records consists of the files of the dean and the office staff. Materials in the record group include correspondence, clippings, minutes, press releases, syllabi, student files, committee records, reports, proposals, statistics, and printed material. The records document the office’s involvement with other administrative offices on campus, students, trustees, and entities outside of the University.There is a significant amount of overlap among the series.

  • University Land Records

    The University Land Records consist of deeds, mortgages, bonds, other legal papers, and maps concerning the acquisition, disposition, or description of University properties. Most of the papers are original though some photocopies are present.

  • Board of Trustees Records

    The minutes document the Board of Trustees' concerns with overall policy and administration of the University. The other records provide context to the minutes, in the form of background material, especially correspondence and reports. They also provide information on Trustee actions taken through their appointed committees but not necessarily recorded in the minutes.

  • Keeper of Princetoniana Records

    The collection consists of Fox's correspondence with alumni, faculty, and administrators during his tenure as Keeper of Princetoniana. Also included are a position description and assessment in which Fox outlines his duties, newspaper clippings, photographs, yearly budget files, and a cassette tape recording of Fox's memorial service.

  • Roy Heath Class of 1954 Advisee Project Interviews

    The collection comprises materials related to a study that Heath, a clinical psychologist, conducted on 36 members of the Class of 1954 during their years at Princeton. Most of the documents are transcriptions of interviews Heath conducted with the students on a regular basis. The students are coded by number, but Heath provided a list to enable individuals to be identified once the collection is opened in 2035.

  • Historical Photograph Collection: Digital Photographs Series

    This collection may include digital facsimiles of physical photographs or
    born-digital images.

  • Princeton University Class Records

    The Class Records consist of a diverse set of materials documenting the history and activities of Princeton University classes during their time as undergraduates and as alumni. In the collection are correspondence, newsletters, publications, photographs, and memorabilia, all of which pertain to a particular Princeton University graduating class and its members.The most common type of material in the collection is class secretary records consisting of correspondence to individual classmates.

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