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

  • Orange Key Guide Service Records

    The collection consists of records that document the activities of the Orange Key Guide Service, including tour routes, lists of tour guides, guide selection information, subject files, training materials, and procedure manuals, as well as a card index of buildings, inscriptions, sculptures, and other physical gifts donated to the University assembled by Orange Key Office as a reference for campus tour guides.

  • Willis M. Rivinus Papers on the Sally Frank case

    Consists of research materials gathered by Rivinus (Princeton Class of 1950) documenting the legal case of ’Sally Frank v. Ivy Club, University Cottage Club, Tiger Inn and the Trustees of Princeton University’, which was formally begun in 1979 and continues to the present (1991). Included in the Papers are correspondence (1986-1988), a manuscript and notes (1987-1989) for an article Rivinus authored about the case, legal briefs (1979-1989) of the case, and related newspaper clippings (1985-1991).

  • Commission on the Future of the College Records

    The collection consists of the records of Commission chairman Marvin Bressler.
    Included are correspondence, Commission meeting minutes, reports and statistics,
    reactions to the Commission’s interim report, and surveys of undergraduates.The minutes are from November 20, 1970 to October 1, 1972. Included in the minutes is
    the scheduling of six public meetings covering three broad topics: undergraduate
    education at Princeton: achievements, problems and prospects; the transition between

  • New Jersey Board of University Extension Records

    The records consist of organizational materials pertaining to the formation of the
    Board as well as plans and conference minutes. Also included are letters from
    conference invitees, indicating their intentions to attend. The bulk of these
    invitees were New Jersey politicians and college administrators.

  • Student Academic Work Collection

    This collection consists of essays, notes on readings, laboratory notebooks, drawings and similar academic work products created by Princeton students. This collection does not contain lecture notes or examinations, which are maintained in dedicated collections.

  • American Whig-Cliosophic Society Records

    This collection contains minutes and records of the Governing Council and other central officers of the society; correspondence, addresses and colloquia of the Whig-Clio's Speakers Program; correspondence and other material documenting the activities of the Debate Panel and Woodrow Wilson Honorary Debate Panel; records of Whig-Clio subsidiary organizations, specifically the Senate (documents from 1936-1962, still active), the Film Program (documents from 1966, ejected from society 1986), the Madison Debating Society (documents from 1940-1954, defunct), the Speakers' Bureau (documents from 1

  • James Magnuson papers

    Consists of drafts of five short plays by James Magnuson, as well as clippings, correspondence, and notes.

  • Program in Continuing Education records

    Consists of the general records of the Program in Continuing Education, including advertisements, faculty committee minutes, fundraising reports, statistics on attendance, director's files, and scholarship applications.

  • Graduate School Centennial Records

    Consists of materials tjat document the Graduate School's centennial celebration,
    including posters, banners, programs, and video tapes of the centennial lecture
    series.

  • Princeton Print Club records

    Consists of financial records, correspondence, and pamphlets which document the activities and membership of the Princeton Print Club. Particularly illustrative of the group's dedication to its mission is a folder of letters to prominent artists requesting donations of prints at low costs. These are often accompanied by enthusiastic personal responses, including a handwritten note from Thomas Hart Benton.

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