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World War I

Collections about World War I at Princeton include personal remembrances by participants in that conflict, the papers of political leaders at the time, and the records of organizations that promoted particular policy aims during the war.

  • The following is a summary of Princeton during World War I

    In his 1914 address to incoming freshman in Marquand Chapel on the afternoon of September 24, President John G. Hibben acknowledged that "the opening of this new academic year . . . presents to our minds a striking contrast ,the peaceful setting of this assembly against the dark background of the terrible European war." With the outbreak of the war in Europe only one month before, many Princeton men took Hibben's call "to the service of the world" to heart. Many Princetonians joined Canadian regiments and other branches of the allied military services. Still others volunteered as ambulance drivers for the French Red Cross. A Princeton chapter of the National Red Cross Society was formed, involving both town and gown representatives.

    By December 1917 students had petitioned successfully for Princeton to offer organized military training. Overseen by what would become known as the Committee on War Courses, the program was approved by the University trustees and headed by General Leonard Wood. Throughout the following two years more and more lectures were presented by officers of the Army on military history and organization; tactical excursions were offered and covered skills such as trench and pontoon building, bridgework and road construction, and rifle shooting practice.

    When a German U-boat sank the R.M.S. Lusitania on May 7, 1916, 116 members of the Princeton faculty signed a formal protest that was sent to President Wilson. Hibben was outspoken in his desire for the United States to enter the war, but the U.S. would not declare war on Germany until April 6, 1917. The atmosphere on the Princeton campus changed instantly: the University cancelled the schedules of all competitive sports and within ten days the entire campus was drilling. Within this time 166 Princeton men had already left to join some branch of service, and 142 had given up academic work to take the first Intensive Military Training Course. While a call to war was on the lips of many at Princeton, it would be a mistake to assume that every member of the student body supported U.S. involvement in the war.

    Two pacifist students petitioned President Hibben to allow the use of Marquand Chapel for a peace meeting, but the request was denied. "Princeton will not allow the use of its building for anti-war meetings. Nor will the University authorities tolerate pacifist propaganda by students," reported the Newark Star-Eagle. It was also reported that while Hibben professed a belief in the freedom of speech, "he declared the present no time for divided counsels."

    By December 1917 there were no less than 3,000 Princeton men in service, including 117 faculty. The effect of the war on undergraduate enrollment resulted in a 63% drop in admissions, and the University found itself with a $135,000 deficit--despite the trustees having reduced expenses by some $120,000. In order to keep afloat, in 1918 Princeton opened its campus to the military and became, for all intents and purposes, a military college.

    Beginning in the fall of 1918, all students of 18 years of age or more were enlisted in the service of the United States Army or Navy and were subject to be called to service if they were needed. The New York Times noted that "this revolutionary change in the course of study and the status of the student will prove of benefit . . . for it keeps alive and functioning patriotically a well-equipped plant that might otherwise soon have been obliged to close its doors except as a training camp or hospital." Princeton did not seem to be in danger of closing its doors forever, but by opening its doors to the military, Princeton took the lead in a move that nearly all colleges in the country embraced in order to remain viable.

    By the war's end, the total number of Princeton men in the war totaled 6,170 and faculty numbered 139. Of this number, 117 students and three members of the faculty were killed in action. Princeton men received 430 decorations from 13 nations, France awarding 227 and the United States 117. World War I was a war without parallel, its scale of destruction eclipsed all previous wars. With estimates of upwards of 10 million killed and 200,000 wounded, it left much of Europe in severe economic hardship and radically reshaped the political map of Europe. It spelled the end of the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires and was the catalyst for the Russian revolution. For many this world war was thought to be the war to end all wars, but only twenty-seven years later the world would be once again be embroiled in war and Princeton would once again be called upon to serve.

     

    Related Sources in the University Archives

    Admissions Office Records, 1854-2001

    Annual Reports to the President, 1940-2003

    Board of Trustees Minutes and Records, 1746-Present

    The Daily Princetonian (Student newspaper)

    John D. Davies Collection on Hobey Baker, 1908-1969

    Davies, John. The Legend of Hobey Baker. (Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, c. 1966).

    Admiral Caspar Frederick Goodrich Papers on the Princeton University Naval Training Unit, 1918-1920

    Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series, c. 1850-1996

    Historical Subject Files Collection, 1746-2005

    Office of the President Records: Jonathan Dickinson to Harold W. Dodds Subgroup, 1746-1999. See John Grier Hibben Records, 1806-1986.

    Office of the Secretary Records, 1853-2001

    Oversize Collection

    Princeton Alumni Publications, Inc. Editor's Records, 1895-1929

    Princeton Alumni Weekly

    Princeton in the World War. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University, Office of the Secretary, c. 1932).

    Society of the Claw Records, 1912-1940

     

Research Tools for Printed Material (Books, Maps, Prints, etc.)

Atlases and Maps

  • Philippe Vandermaelen: Atlas Universel (1827)

    In March 2009, with substantial funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library, supplemented with money from Rare Books, the Historic Maps Collection acquired a copy of Belgian cartographer Philippe Vandermaelen’s Atlas universel, consisting of approximately 380 conically projected sheets of maps and 40 pages of statistical tables in six volumes. This folio-size atlas is remarkable for several reasons. It is the first atlas produced by the then new printing process of lithography. It is also the first atlas to show the whole world in maps using a large uniform scale—about 26 miles to the inch. Moreover, the maps are designed to be joined into a three-dimensional terrestrial globe with a diameter of approximately 7.75 meters (almost 25 feet). The library's Digital Studio joined in our project to digitize the sheets so that they could be made available, in high resolution, over the web. In addition, because of the projection of the maps, we felt that stitching the continental maps together and wrapping their "skin" over a generic globe would provide a unique viewing experience--creating a virtual 3D version of Vandermaelen's physical globe. This was achieved by the library's GIS librarian, with some help from the university's Media Center.

  • Rare Books

    See entrys in thie guide for the following:

    ENGLISH BOOKS, EARLY PRINTED, 1475-1700
    ENGLISH BOOKS -- The Princeton One Hundred Great English Books
    ENGLISH CIVILIZATION OF THE LATTER SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
    ENGLISH LITERATURE AND HISTORY -- EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
    ENGLISH LITERATURE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY See: VICTORIAN POETS, VICTORIAN NOVELISTS as well as many relevant author entries in this Guide
    ENGLISH LITERATURE OF THE 1890'S
    ENGLISH LITERATURE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY See: EDWARDIAN NOVELS, BEACH, SYLVIA (1887-1962), and many relevant author entries in this Guide

  • Public Policy

    Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration Photographs

    George W. Ball Papers

    John Foster Dulles Papers

    Chalmers Benedict Wood Papers

    Development and Resources Corporation 

    William E. Colby Papers

    George McGovern Papers

    William P. Bundy Papers

    Arthur F. Rall Papers

  • Todd Collection of Photographically Extra-Illustrated Tauchnitz Editions, 1750-1985

    TEXT

  • Miscellaneous Screenplays

    The collection consists of miscellaneous screenplays and related materials, such as continuity, superimposed versions (i.e. script translations), release dialogue scripts, and revisions/drafts. There are also a few information packets--these include interviews with and/or biographies of stars, synopses, and various and sundry other materials meant for release. Studios represented include 20th Century Fox, United Artists, Warner Brothers, MGM, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Walt Disney. Film titles of note include "Barbarella," "Buck Rogers," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Casablanca," "Chinatown," "Cinderella," "Citizen Kane," "A Clockwork Orange," "Doctor Zhivago," "Flashdance," "Goldfinger," "Superman," "Taming of the Shrew," "The Ten Commandments," "2001: A Space Odyssey, and "Wait Until Dark."

  • Zelda Fitzgerald Papers

    The collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, miscellaneous notes andrelated material, documents, pictures, clippings, and photographs of ZeldaFitzgerald. Included are the typescript, set for printer, of Save Me the Waltz (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,1932), manuscripts (mostly typescripts) of short stories, articles, and her play Scandalabra , and tear sheets of some of herpublished articles and stories: "Big Top," "Caesar's Things," "Choreography ofan Idea," "Janno and Jacob," "Other Names for Roses," "Show Mr. and Mrs. F. toNumber...," and "Unembellished." Also present is a portrait drawing by Zelda ofher husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and several other drawings. There are lettersto her daughter, Frances Scott Fitzgerald (married name, Scottie FitzgeraldSmith), correspondence with other people, such as Ludlow Fowler, Charles Kalman,Margaret Turnbull, George Nathan, and others, and correspondence between variousfamily members. Correspondence between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald is gatheredin his Papers (C0187). Additions to her papers consist of a family scrapbook of photographs, clippingsand memorabilia, dating from Zelda's childhood to 1927, and an album, compiledby Eleanor Lanahan in 1997, entitled Zelda by Herself, The Art of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald , which contains a 45-page catalogand 235 color slides of all of the known art works of Zelda Fitzgerald and theirvarious locations. A later addition includes a jacket worn by Zelda, aphotograph of Zelda, Lane Montgomery's notes about Zelda from her writings, andher correspondence with Scottie Fitzgerald Smith (daughter of Zelda and F. ScottFitzgerald) and others about Zelda and William Luce's play Zelda (1984) in which Ms. Montgomery collaborated and performed.

  • Zelda Fitzgerald Papers

    The collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, miscellaneous notes andrelated material, documents, pictures, clippings, and photographs of ZeldaFitzgerald. Included are the typescript, set for printer, of Save Me the Waltz (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,1932), manuscripts (mostly typescripts) of short stories, articles, and her play Scandalabra , and tear sheets of some of herpublished articles and stories: "Big Top," "Caesar's Things," "Choreography ofan Idea," "Janno and Jacob," "Other Names for Roses," "Show Mr. and Mrs. F. toNumber...," and "Unembellished." Also present is a portrait drawing by Zelda ofher husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and several other drawings. There are lettersto her daughter, Frances Scott Fitzgerald (married name, Scottie FitzgeraldSmith), correspondence with other people, such as Ludlow Fowler, Charles Kalman,Margaret Turnbull, George Nathan, and others, and correspondence between variousfamily members. Correspondence between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald is gatheredin his Papers (C0187). Additions to her papers consist of a family scrapbook of photographs, clippingsand memorabilia, dating from Zelda's childhood to 1927, and an album, compiledby Eleanor Lanahan in 1997, entitled Zelda by Herself, The Art of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald , which contains a 45-page catalogand 235 color slides of all of the known art works of Zelda Fitzgerald and theirvarious locations. A later addition includes a jacket worn by Zelda, aphotograph of Zelda, Lane Montgomery's notes about Zelda from her writings, andher correspondence with Scottie Fitzgerald Smith (daughter of Zelda and F. ScottFitzgerald) and others about Zelda and William Luce's play Zelda (1984) in which Ms. Montgomery collaborated and performed.

  • William Michael Rossetti Collection

    The collection consists primarily of original letters and manuscripts of WilliamMichael Rossetti, one of the Pre-Raphaelite "brothers." Rossetti'scorrespondents include Charles Aldrich, William M. Colles, E. H. Leggatt,Everard Meynell, David M. Main, Frederick Locker, Ford Madox Ford, TheodoreWatts-Dunton, Walter Severn, Octavia Susman, and others. The manuscripts includean introduction to Miscellaneous Essays, Sketches, and Reviews, a volume of William Makepeace Thackeray's works; two undatedessays attributed to Rossetti entitled "Flowers in Ancient Egypt" and "TheGardens of Ancient Egypt;" a prefatory note to Charles Dicken's Pictures from Italy; and a biographical sketch ofFord Madox Brown. Also present are three photographs of Rossetti and familymembers, and a small selection of miscellanea, including an article on Italianhistory and the politics of the Papacy by Rossetti's father, GabrieleRossetti.The following standard abbreviations, or their variations, are used to identifymaterials in this collection: ALS = autograph letter signed, ACS = autographcard signed, ANS = autograph note signed, AMs = autograph manuscript, and TMs =typed manuscript.

  • William Francis Magie Papers

    The collection consists of miscellaneous papers of Magie: records and reportcards from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), school recordsfrom Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin, manuscripts of some of hisaddresses, a manuscript of the "Account of the process of making the Ph.D. atBerlin, 1885," and selected correspondence. The records from the College of NewJersey include an entrance exam schedule, Magie's letter of admission (1875),and his award certificate (1878) for the Dickinson Prize. There are sixautograph (and one typewritten) addresses on various scientific topics given atconferences and club meetings. The records from Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBerlin include a registration form, a student ID card, a receipt, a studentmanual (1882), three lists of classes, a record of courses taken, his Ph.D.degree (1884), and a printed copy of his dissertation (1885). The correspondenceincludes three letters (1882) to Magie's mother and father from Princeton, and aletter and two photographs from Frederick S. Osborne to Edward Steese, datedJuly 2, 1945, regarding the Magie grave tablet. In addition, there is shortdocument about physics signed by Hermann von Helmholtz, Magie's German mentor.

  • William Francis Magie Papers

    The collection consists of miscellaneous papers of Magie: records and reportcards from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), school recordsfrom Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin, manuscripts of some of hisaddresses, a manuscript of the "Account of the process of making the Ph.D. atBerlin, 1885," and selected correspondence. The records from the College of NewJersey include an entrance exam schedule, Magie's letter of admission (1875),and his award certificate (1878) for the Dickinson Prize. There are sixautograph (and one typewritten) addresses on various scientific topics given atconferences and club meetings. The records from Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBerlin include a registration form, a student ID card, a receipt, a studentmanual (1882), three lists of classes, a record of courses taken, his Ph.D.degree (1884), and a printed copy of his dissertation (1885). The correspondenceincludes three letters (1882) to Magie's mother and father from Princeton, and aletter and two photographs from Frederick S. Osborne to Edward Steese, datedJuly 2, 1945, regarding the Magie grave tablet. In addition, there is shortdocument about physics signed by Hermann von Helmholtz, Magie's German mentor.

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