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

  • Princeton University Diploma Collection

    Consists of 213 original diplomas and photostats, including executed diplomas as well as blank, sample or
    spoiled diplomas.

  • Princeton-Pennsylvania Accelerator records

    Consists of proposals and surveys compiled by the Office of Occupational Health and Safety in regards to radiation safety measures taken to protect workers and researchers at the Princeton-Pennsylvania Accelerator, a particle research facility that operated on Forrestal Campus from 1957 to 1971.

  • 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.

  • Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences Records

    The records document the department from its 19th century origins to the recent past with departmental files, faculty files, faculty meeting minutes and visual materials. In Series 2, a variety of materials document significant figures in the department such as Arnold Guyot, Richard Field, and William B. Scott, as well as curriculum development and related matters. A consistent run of faculty meeting minutes in Series 4 provides a detailed picture of the department’s development over the course of the 20th century.

  • Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration records

    The collection documents the activities of three consecutive administrators who held
    the position of vice presidents for finance, either solely or in combination with the
    roles of treasurer and vice president for administration: Paul B. Firstenberg
    (1972-1976), Carl W. Schafer (1976-1987), and Richard R. Spies (1988-2001). Also
    included are the records of Laurel B. Harvey, who served as assistant vice president

  • 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.

  • China Famine Relief Fund records

    Consists of financial records, receipts for gifts made to the fund, announcements, staff lists, and correspondence with other organizations working towards famine relief in China.

  • 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.

  • Nassau Hall Bible Society Records

    These materials record the Society's work during both phases of its existence. Bound volumes contain minutes of the Society's annual meetings–including reports from its managers (during the early years)–and of its board (1864-1866). Several pamphlets recount the semi-annual meeting of the Society; others give the reports of the Nassau Hall Bible, Tract, and Education Societies. The remainder consists of ledgers, donation records, and receipts from the Society's earliest years. A few historical notes conclude the collection.

  • Alexander Leitch Football notes collection

    Consists of extensive notes taken by Alexander Leitch as background for the
    \Football\ entry of his encyclopedia A Princeton
    Companion, including the reproduced anecdotes of several early football
    players, clippings, and a bibliography.

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