Held at: Princeton University Library: University Archives [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: University Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The earliest form of organized graduate education at Princeton began when President James Carnahan announced the establishment of a Law School in 1846, which awarded its last degree in 1852. Graduate work in a formal sense emerged at Princeton in the 1870s when President James McCosh added new faculty and graduate fellowships. The introduction of graduate work in the sciences came with the opening of the John C. Green School of Science in 1873, offering both masters and doctoral degrees.
Princeton's Graduate School, established officially by the Trustees in late 1900, began its operations in the fall of 1901. The School's first dean, Andrew Fleming West, sought to improve the quality of education by insisting on high entrance and academic standards and by creating what he believed to be the proper residential setting, a Graduate College, where the students would learn from one another. Merwick, located on Bayard Lane and provided by benefactor Moses Taylor Pyne in 1905, served as the first residence for graduate students. It housed twelve to fifteen students and served as a dining facility and center of recreation.
Upon her death in 1906, Josephine Thomson Swann, the first benefactor of the Graduate School, bequeathed $275,000 to Princeton for the construction of a Graduate College in her late husband's name. This money allowed Dean West and President Woodrow Wilson to formulate plans for the Graduate School, but controversy came with the building of the Graduate College, which would replace Merwick as a residence for students. West proposed that the College be remotely located, away from the distractions of undergraduate life, while Wilson favored a site near Prospect House. William Cooper Procter, Class of 1883, who contributed funds for what would become Procter Hall, strongly campaigned for the site near the golf links. He offered $500,000 toward the Graduate College, but found Wilson's choice for the site unsuitable and made his offer conditional "upon further understanding that some other site be chosen, which shall be satisfactory to me." Wilson refused to accept a gift upon such terms, and held tightly to his belief that West could not succeed in his plan to locate the Graduate College at the golf links, away from the "existing life of the University." Although Wilson had the support of the faculty and a majority of the trustees, Procter still insisted on his conditions.
After weighing the options, Howard Crosby Butler, the first Master-in-Residence of the Graduate College, agreed with West that a Graduate College apart from the undergraduates was wise based on his "practical experience with the group of graduate students at Merwick." Isaac Chauncey Wyman, Class of 1848, who came to side with Dean West and William Cooper Procter, left the bulk of his estate, initially estimated at two million dollars, to the Graduate College, and it was this that ultimately settled the question of its location. In his report to the trustees, Wilson finally accepted West's plan for the location and acceded to Procter's conditions. Once the site controversy was settled, architect Ralph Adams Cram, the "high priest" of American Collegiate Gothic, designed the College as a complex consisting of a quadrangle, the Pyne Memorial Tower for the residence of the Master of the College, and the great hall, Procter Hall, which became known for its stained glass windows, carved timber ceiling, and pipe organ. A "collegiate" lifestyle developed at the Graduate College, with recreation, lectures, and meals together in Procter Hall. The Graduate College provided graduate students with a communal life outside of the classrooms and laboratories.
World War I radically changed the character of the nascent Graduate School as students left for war service, and the Graduate College was leased to the military for training naval officers. Until 1922, the Graduate School had limited its enrollment to 200 degree candidates. Several departments, such as history, English, and chemistry, felt increased pressure to admit students beyond the 1922 quotas. By 1932, under Dean Augustus Trowbridge (1928-1933), enrollment was raised to 250, but it was not until the administration of Dean Hugh Stott Taylor (1945-1958), that the upper limit was finally removed. With increased research funds in math and sciences came assistantships for students. By World War II, Dean Luther Eisenhart (1933-1945), who had come on board during the Depression, had given the Graduate School a new sense of mission and increased claim to excellence. He changed doctoral regulations, redefined master's degrees, and created scholarships.
As World War II wound down and enrollment began strongly increasing again, the Graduate School faced a housing crisis, especially for married students. Married veterans and their families moved into what were at one time army barracks, the Butler Apartments, on Harrison Street. The shape of graduate education in the postwar years became a major interest, and Dean Taylor oversaw the postwar expansion of the Graduate School. He added new doctoral programs and brought alumni more fully into the University family through the creation of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni. The establishment of the Forrestal Campus in 1951, which included the Plasma Physics Laboratory and a particle accelerator, helped cement Princeton's reputation as a world-class institution in the study of physics
Under Dean Donald Hamilton (1958-1965), the enrollment of the Graduate School continued to increase steadily. The fellowship budget grew, as did the number of interdisciplinary programs. Princeton admitted its first woman graduate student as a special case in 1961, and in 1968 the Graduate School's doors were officially opened to women. Throughout the 1960s, the recruitment of minorities, especially African Americans, grew. Toward the end of the 1960s, with the global political climate changing, Princeton, like other graduate schools, felt increasing pressure to admit more students from other nations.
After weathering Vietnam War protests in the 1970s, the Graduate School faced further problems with funding, particularly in the humanities. Budget cuts served to reshape the Graduate School's demography, financing, programs, and morale through to the early 1990s. Steady growth throughout the latter part of the decade, however, can be attributed to doctoral students remaining enrolled in extended programs in order to conduct sophisticated research, acquire foreign languages and study in foreign countries, among other things. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Graduate School saw more specialties in academic departments and the establishment of focused research institutes and centers, as well as a strong exchange program with peer institutions.
Consists of materials tjat document the Graduate School's centennial celebration, including posters, banners, programs, and video tapes of the centennial lecture series.
Materials in this collection were transferred by the Graduate School in April 2002 (accession number AR.2002.031). The Paul Muldoon poem was added to the collection in December 2015 (accession number AR.2015.114).
For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.
Boxes 7 and 8 contain VHS videocassettes and audio CDs.
This collection was processed by Rosalba Varallo Recchia in May 2012. Digital materials in Series 3 were processed by Elena Colon-Marrero in June 2015. EAD updated by Christie Peterson in May 2012 and by Lynn Durgin in December 2015.
No appraisal information is available.
- University Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Christie Peterson; Lynn Durgin
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.
Materials in Series 1: Centennial Events, 1998-2201 have been organized by material type and arranged roughly chronologically.
Series 1: Centennial Events, 1999-2001 includes programs, invitations, pamphlets, posters, and clippings relating to the various programs and events that took place on Princeton's campus during the 2000-2001 academic year. Most notable among these events were the "Frontiers of Knowledge" public lecture series, "A Community of Scholars: Graduate Education at Princeton" exhibition at Firestone Library, and the conference held in recognition of the 250th birthday of Princeton's first graduate student, "A Constitution for the Ages: James Madison, the Framer." A handful of publications printed specifically for the Graduate School Centennial Celebration are also included.Physical Description
A hand-printed and signed copy of a poem by Paul Muldoon titled The Tower; the poem was was written to commemorate the Graduate School's centennial.Physical Description
Items in Series 2: Memorabilia, 1999-2001 have been arranged by size.
Series 2: Memorabilia, 1999-2001 consists of two leather bound 2001 desk calendars, two 4" x 6" silver frames, key chains, a polo shirt and a t-shirt with Graduate School Centennial logo on each, a light stick, two coffee mugs, latex balloons, pins, pens, pencils, bookmark, banner, and three Graduate School nameplates can be found in this series. Also included is the commemorative Graduate School Centennial flag that astronaut Daniel T. Barry '80 brought aboard the space shuttle Discovery in May 1999.Physical Description
The materials in Series 3: Audiovisual Material, 2000-2001 have not been arranged in any particular order.
Series 3: Audiovisual Material, 2000-2001 contains twelve VHS tapes and two CDs. Five of the VHS tapes are from the Centennial Public Lecture Series. Included are the individual conference presenters and their lecture held on September 17, 2000; October 15, 2000; February 11, 2001; March 11, 2001 and April 22, 2001 (missing is the November 12, 2000 lecture). In addition, a CD of "Joan Lippincott & Friends, A Centennial Celebration" are also included.Physical Description
16 digital files