Happy Birthday, Mudd!

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When Princeton University dedicated the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library in mid-October 1976, University Librarian Richard W. Boss called the $2.5 million expenditure in times of economic uncertainty “a sassy act of faith,” especially given that the materials it housed were only drawing approximately 250 visitors per year. In 1976, Princeton expressed the hope that building Mudd would double this number to 500 annually. Though we aren’t objective, we think Princeton’s sassy faith in our collections’ usefulness has been realized. Over 4,300 people conducted research at Mudd last academic year.

We didn’t want to let our 40th birthday pass without a celebration, so we are throwing a party on Thursday, October 13, 2016, at 4:30 PM. Join us as we commemorate 40 years of digging in the Mudd with collection highlights, games, prizes, a performance by the Katzenjammers, cake, and more.

This Week in Princeton History for September 26-October 2

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a sitting U.S. president gets a warm welcome, women’s field hockey has its first game, and more.

September 26, 1879—The Princetonian reports, “We greet Murray Hall as it rises above ground.”

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Murray Hall, 1879. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP66, Image No. 2599. Murray Hall was originally built to hold religious meetings for the Philadelphian Society, a student organization.

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This Week in Princeton History for September 19-25

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Princeton Stadium has its first game, a court ruling allows dorm residents to register to vote, and more.

September 19, 1998—Princeton University beats Cornell 6-0 in the first football game ever played in the newly constructed Princeton Stadium.

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Ticket from Princeton v. Cornell, September 19, 1998. Athletics Programs Collection (AC042), Box 18.

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#Princethen 2016 Announcement and Rules for Participation

Today is the first day of classes at Princeton University, so it’s time to talk about #Princethen!

Last year, we all had fun with the first #Princethen game on Twitter. You sent us on quite the scavenger hunt through Mudd’s collections! This year, we are trying a new version of the game. Instead of us going on a scavenger hunt, we’re sending you on a scavenger hunt. Departments across Princeton University have already agreed to participate, but anyone with a Twitter account can play along. This game is open to staff, faculty, students, and the general community.

Jamie Saxon, Humanities writer in the Office of Communications (@JamieSaxonArts), will show you how it’s done. I sent her this photo of Deborah Porter *89 studying in Gest Library in 1985 and she responded with a photo of Ragy Morkos ’18 studying in Gest Library in 2016:

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This Week in Princeton History for September 12-18

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, female employees tell their stories, Wilcox Hall opens, and more.

September 12, 1906—Italian immigrant Vincent R. Gregg, age 14, begins a 57-year career at Princeton University as a histiology technician. He will later explain that when circumstances had left him alone in Princeton, he “aspired to a job—any job at any wages—with Princeton University.”

September 13, 1990—The Princeton University Women’s Organization celebrates the publication of Women’s Voices, Women’s Work, a collection of poetry and essays by the school’s female employees about their experiences there.

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Back cover of Women’s Voices, Women’s Work (1990).

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Electing an American President

With the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections just around the corner, we’ve been having fun answering the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s #ElectionCollection challenges on Twitter. The timing also seemed right to put some of our elections-related memorabilia on display here at Mudd. Our lobby exhibit case now holds a variety of elections-related materials from diverse collections in the Princeton University Archives and the Public Policy Papers, with a date range spanning nearly a century from William McKinley’s 1896 campaign to Bill Clinton’s in 1992.

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William McKinley campaign badge, ca. 1896. Princeton University Library Records (AC123), Box 406.

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This Week in Princeton History for September 5-11

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, marriage poses risk of expulsion for a junior, George Washington’s nephew is asked to leave town, and more.

September 5, 1997—Just before Princeton University’s undergraduates return for classes, Woolworth’s closes its doors permanently. After 65 years of relying on the five-and-dime, students will have to find new places to buy dorm furnishings, school supplies, toiletries, and novelty decorations.

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One of many items available at Woolworth’s five-and-dime store was this inflatable Easter bunny in 1983. Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

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This Week in Princeton History for August 29-September 4

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a basketball player goes pro, a sophomore finds artistic inspiration in town, and more.

August 29, 1930—M. Hartley Dodge, Jr. ‘30 dies in a car accident in France. His family will later donate both the Dodge Memorial Gateway and the Dodge Memorial Arch in his honor.

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View of Blair Hall through the Dodge Memorial Gateway. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP15, Image No. 370.

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This Week in Princeton History for August 22-28

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a 1906 postcard gives a weather update, a Canadian library honors a Princeton president, and more.

August 23, 1906—Someone writes and sends a postcard to let a friend know that “The day is hot and the locusts are singing” at Princeton.

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Historical Postcard Collection (AC045), Box 3.

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This Week in Princeton History for August 15-21

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, final exams ask about America’s future, a sophomore wins an unusual contest involving a bus, and more.

August 15, 1945—Future Dean of the Princeton University Chapel Ernest Gordon is freed after 40 months as a prisoner of war in the Japanese Kwai River camps.

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Ernest Gordon, undated. Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel Records (AC144), Box 35.

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