Signed, Sealed, Delivered letters donated to University Archives

by: Dan Linke

With the rise of email more than 20 years ago, many have lamented the decline of the handwritten letter, but with her new book, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing (Simon & Schuster, 2014), Nina Sankovitch has done much more than that.  Drawing on letters from across the ages, she explains why putting pen to paper can communicate much more than the thoughts and ideas on the page.

signedsealeddelivered

Inspired by a cache of letters written by a Princeton undergraduate to his parents that she uncovered in the tool shed of a dilapidated New York home she bought more than a decade ago, Sankovitch originally read the letters in small batches, as a break from the toils of mothering three young children.  Years later, with her oldest son readying himself for college, Sankovitch revisited the letters and began her mediation on the important  and wide range of human connections that letters make, using the Princeton student’s letters and their discovery as the basis for the book’s first chapter.

James B. Seligman

The letters were composed by James B. Seligman, Class of 1912. According to his Nassau Herald entry, “Jimmie” grew up in New York City, was a member of Clio, studied economics, and hoped to go into banking.  He was also Jewish (“Hebrew” in the parlance of the day), just one of five such students in a class of almost 300.  He became an independent stockbroker and a member of the New York Stock Exchange where he was a floor trader.  The February 22, 1941 New Yorker called him “one of the wittiest men on the Floor.”

That wit is reflected in his surviving letters.  Some excerpts that Sankovitch highlights in her book:

“I am getting a good college education, developing like a film, apologizing to the grass every time I step on it, scrambling like an egg, yelling like a bear, telling the upperclassmen to go to @#$ …”

 “I am once more sorry to say, with tears in my nose, and with shaking toes, etc that I didn’t pass French…Thanking you again for your kind applause, I will close as Le Student Francais.”

“Chapel was great. I never laughed so much in my life.”

And in answering what he called the “ponderous interrogations” sent by his mother: “my diet consists principally of food.  My health is fine.”

He also wrote of his classes – “Woodrow Wilson lectures to us in Jurisprudence – It is a treat to listen to him speak.”

Now Sankovitch has donated Seligman’s correspondence, consisting of about 100 letters and postcards, to the Princeton University Archives, and they will join those of other students in the Student Correspondence and Writings Collection (AC334). This collection, along with a number of others, contains the correspondence of about two dozen students ranging over three centuries, and collectively it provides insights into Princeton undergraduate life that can be found nowhere else.  The earliest letters date from 1768 and the most recent is a collection of printed emails from a member of the Class of 1997.

Records Management and University Archives: Perfect Together

The job of the Princeton University Archives is to keep in perpetuity the University records that should be kept, and the University Records Manager, Anne Marie Phillips, helps to identify them.  She also helps offices determine how long non-permanent records must be kept before they can be destroyed.

With the University’s first financial records retention schedule coming online, she identified almost 300 boxes of journal vouchers and check registers from the 1950s and 1960s held within the Archives that should have been destroyed long ago.

containersThese records filled 21 bins (see above photo) and weighed over 6,000 pounds.  Now that shelf space can be used for permanent records that the Archives will keep for as long as there is a Princeton.

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Keen New Addition: Photo Album Purchase Contains Rare Images of Woodrow Wilson

by Dan Linke

img_016With more than 600 books on Woodrow Wilson, including Scott Berg’s recent autobiography, is there anything new about Woodrow Wilson? With the acquisition of the photo album of Paul Edward Keen *15, the answer is yes.

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His photo album contains a dozen images of Wilson’s 1913 inauguration and his 1915 return to campus to vote, as well as many more campus and local scenes that he took while studying at the Princeton Theological Seminary (1912-16) and Princeton University (MA1915).

About half the album contains photographs that Keen took elsewhere such as Philadelphia and Antietam, but the latter half is filled with images of the town of Princeton and the campuses of the University and Seminary.  In one 1915 photograph Wilson’s black mourning armband is visible on his upper left arm; Edith, his wife of 29 years, died in August 1914.

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Born in Yorkana, Pennsylvania in 1888, after graduation from the Seminary, Keen was ordained in the United Evangelical Church and led the congregation in Wrightsville, PA, before becoming a Bible professor at Allbright College (his undergraduate alma mater) in 1924.  Starting in 1928, he taught at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Napersville, Illinois, until his death in 1958.

Here are just 14 images found within the album:

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The album was purchased, in part, with funds provided by the Goreff/Neuwirth Charitable Trust in honor of Danielle van Jaarsveld, Class of 1995.

 

John F. Kennedy’s Princeton University undergraduate alumni file

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  The Mudd Manuscript Library celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s election in 2010 with an exhibition and more than 30 Public Policy collections contain material related to Kennedy.

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Within the University Archives, his undergraduate alumni file contains his application to the University, details his brief time on campus and reasons for his departure, and some later correspondence with and about him.

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The first page of JFK’s Princeton Application

The file contains his application essay that is very similar to his Harvard essay, which was released in 2011. This digitized file is part of the Mudd Library’s ongoing digitization efforts.

by: Dan Linke

USS Princeton

USSPrinceton ExplodingOn October 24th, 1944 the U.S.S. Princeton (CVL-23) sank during battle.

The University Archives here at Mudd Library holds the U.S.S. Princeton [C.V.L.-23] Collection which contains research materials for the book, Carrier Down, by Marcia Clark in which the history of the U.S.S. Princeton is chronicled.

We have begun the digitization process of this collection to mark the anniversary of the tragic loss, almost 70 years ago.

We have attached the first few folders of materials Marsha Clark collected for the book, Carrier Down. The materials include typed transcripts of tape-recorded interviews, newspaper clippings, and recollections written by individual men who served on the U.S.S. Princeton [C.V.L.-23] when it was bombed October 24, 1944. The amount of materials varies from folder to folder. Once the entire collection is digitized it will be connected to the finding aid for your viewing and research.

USS Princeton Interviews Folders 1-9 including:

Abriel, Warren W.
Addison, Larry
Amonte, Salvatore L.
Arlequeeuw, Ray
Bardshar, Fred
Beckett, John
Bell, Frank E.
Bellevance, Henry R.
Blyth, Les

Related links:

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/leyteglf/cvl23-l.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Princeton_(CVL-23)

Mudd in Print

Have you ever wondered what our researchers are up to in the reading room? Many of them are working fervently towards producing highly esteemed, ground-breaking, and sometimes award-winning books.

This entry features a sample of recent publications, each developed through extensive research at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Drawing from material found in the Princeton University Archives, as well as the Public Policy Papers, these works demonstrate the varied research potential of the collections housed in our library. (All descriptions from Amazon.com.)

Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities by Craig Steven Wilder

Ebony and Ivy

In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.

The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War by Stephen Kinzer

TheBrothers
A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today’s world.

Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Wilson

From Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times–bestselling author A. Scott Berg comes the definitive—and revelatory—biography of one of the great American figures of modern times.

George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis

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Three decades in the making, the definitive, authorized biography of one of Cold War America’s most prominent and most troubled grand strategists.

Princeton: America’s Campus by W. Barksdale Maynard

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Neither a straightforward architectural history nor a simple guidebook, it weaves social history and the built fabric into a biography of a great American place.

These books are also on display in the lobby case at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.

by: Amanda Pike

 

 

Digitzed: Robert Lansing Papers & John Foster Dulles State Department Records

In our ongoing efforts to provide digital access to our records, we are happy to announce two additional collections have been digitized with the help of our students.

Robert Lansing (ca. 1905)

Robert Lansing (date unkknown)

The Robert Lansing Papers and the John Foster Dulles State Department Records are viewable via their finding aids.

The Robert Lansing Papers document the later years of Robert Lansing (1864-1928), lawyer, writer, and the longest serving (1915–1920) of Woodrow Wilson’s three Secretaries of State.

For the John Foster Dulles State Department Records, we scanned Series 2: Declassified Records

The two collections took a little over six months to complete.

For this project, we asked students who worked at the library’s front desk to scan documents by using a top feed and flat bed scanner when not assisting patrons. Once scanned, students would combine files together using Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Student receptionist using the top feed scanner to digitize documents.

While we continually work in house to make more of our collections available online, recently we also have been awarded a grant to have six other collections digitized. Read more about those collections and the project here:

Mudd Library Awarded Grant to Provide Global Access to Records of the Cold War

“Building the House of Knowledge:” The Graduate College Centennial

A new exhibition that opens at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library on Sept. 16, 2013, chronicles the events and decisions framing the development of America’s first graduate residential college.

Procter Hall view: The centerpiece of the Graduate College, Procter Hall and the beautiful stained glass Great West Window looking towards the Cleveland Memorial Tower, ca. 1913

Procter Hall view: The centerpiece of the Graduate College, Procter Hall and the beautiful stained glass Great West Window looking towards the Cleveland Memorial Tower, ca. 1913

Marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of Princeton’s Graduate College, “Building the House of Knowledge:” The Graduate College Centennial is filled with letters, documents and photographs from Princeton’s University Archives that reveal the story of how the concept of resident graduate education went from an inspired idea to a grand achievement, but not without significant controversy that brought nationwide attention to Princeton.

A view from behind the monumental statue of Andrew Fleming West, erected in the Graduate College quad in the 1920s, looking toward the Cleveland Memorial Tower. West was the first Dean of the Graduate School and driving force behind building the Graduate College.  Cleveland Tower was built as the national monument for President Grover Cleveland, who retired to Princeton after leaving the White House, and was a University trustee and supporter of graduate education.

A view from behind the monumental statue of Andrew Fleming West, erected in the Graduate College quad in the 1920s, looking toward the Cleveland Memorial Tower.

Beginning with the desire for a residential graduate program expressed at Princeton’s Sesquicentennial celebrations, the exhibition reveals the initial agreement of University President Woodrow Wilson and Dean of the Graduate School Andrew Fleming West on the plans for building the Graduate College. Early on, however, disagreements over the use of endowment funding and an appropriate location for the new Graduate College led to battle lines being drawn—with faculty and trustees viewed as being on either Dean West’s or President Wilson’s side. Reports and letters from West, Wilson, and eminent trustees such as Moses Taylor Pyne and former U.S. President Grover Cleveland reveal elements of the dissension developing at the administrative level. Letters from significant Graduate College benefactor and alumnus William C. Procter, Class of 1883 and of Procter and Gamble fame, show how directed endowment bequests played a role in the controversy. These letters and reports focus on how endowment funding and bequests and the choice of a site for the residential building contributed to the heated debate, and possibly influenced the resignation of President Wilson.

Photographs from the archives detail some of the architectural plans and ultimate construction of the Graduate College 17 years after the vision of resident graduate education was first presented. A final case shows photographs of later additions to the original Graduate College in the 1920s and 1960s as increased enrollment pressures necessitated adding rooms to the venerable structure originally built in 1913.

“Building the House of Knowledge:” The Graduate College Centennial is free and open to the public in the Wiess Lounge at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, 65 Olden Street, until June 6, 2014. The exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.

by: Sara Griffiths

 

 

Political Cartoons now available online

Over 2,000 cartoons from three collections of politically related cartoons are now available online. Images can be viewed by search or browsing finding aids of the three collections:  the Political Cartoon Collection (MC180); the Carey Cartoon Collection (MC158); the William H. Walker Cartoon Collection (MC068)

The Political Cartoon collection consists of one thousand original drawings, including a significant number by Charles Lewis Bartholomew, Otho Cushing, Homer C. Davenport, John Tinney McCutcheon, and Frank Arthur Nankivell. Other artists that are well represented include Louis Glackens, Harold Imbrie, Udo J. Keppler, Norman Ritchie, and Fred O. Seibel.

More Dough? MC180, Box 2

More Dough? MC180, Box 2

The Carey Collection consists of large color boards that were originally displayed in shop windows. Most of the cartoons comment on foreign policy issues during World War I.

United States Declares War! MC156, Box 1, Folder 4

United States Declares War! MC156, Box 1, Folder 4

The William H. Walker Cartoon Collection reflects the political climate of America during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The cartoons were drawn between 1894 and 1922 for Life Magazine. Life is the title of an American magazine that from 1883 to 1936 was published as a humor and general interest magazine. While the earlier years did not encompass the quantity of cartoons of the latter years, Walker’s satirical style is ever poignant. Through the use of humor, Walker directs attention towards such topics as war, immigration and domestic politics. These themes are related to the reader through the synergistic relationship of ink on paper and intellectual wit. In turn, this relationship generated a light, but serious message for all to appreciate.

Uncle Sam, Buyer of Small Islands, MC068, Box 44.

Uncle Sam, Buyer of Small Islands, MC068, Box 44.

Mudd Library Technical Services staff collaborated with the University Library’s Digital Initiative’s team in making this material available.  Mudd staff created or enhanced the descriptions of the cartoons within the finding aid for each collection and the cartoons were scanned in the Library’s digital studios in Firestone Library.

More about our digitization projects:

 

Name Dropping: A list of famous Commencement Week speakers at Princeton

In a previous post we discussed the history behind commencement at The College of New Jersey and Princeton University. Here, we highlight the individuals and include links to video and news articles.

For the years 2009- 2012 each name will link to an individual flash based streaming video courtesy of Princeton University WebMedia. These are mobile friendly as well.

Years 1998-2008 can be viewed through this link to WebMedia. Scroll to the appropriate year and download you preferred version to your computer. To view via mobile you will need to open in dropbox.

2012

Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite (2012)

Michael Lewis – Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite (2012)

Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Steve McDonald (2012)

Steve Carell – Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Steve McDonald (2012)

2011

2010

2009

2008-1998 Can be downloaded for viewing here.

2008

  • Baccalaureate - Paul Farmer
  • Class Day – Stephen Colbert
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2007

  • Baccalaureate - John Fleming
  • Class Day – Bradley Whitford
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2006

2005

2004

2003

  • Baccalaureate – Fred Hargadon
  • Class Day - Jerry Seinfeld
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2002

  • Baccalaureate - Meg Whitman
  • Class Day – James Baker
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2001

  • Baccalaureate – Emma Bloomberg
Bill Cosby - 2001 Class Day Speaker Photo Courtesy: Princeton Weekly Bulletin

Bill Cosby – 2001 Class Day Speaker
Photo Courtesy: Princeton Weekly Bulletin

  • Class Day - Bill Cosby - This marks the first Class Day Speaker from outside of the University. 
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

Previous to 2001 many infamous persons took the podium during the Baccalaureate Ceremonies. The following highlight a few of those. During this time the president of the University presides over commencement and typically gives the commencement address as well as speaks at Class Day.

2000 Baccalaureate  - Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, formerly Lisa Halaby ’73

1999

  • Baccalaureate Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund
  • Class Day/Commencement Harold T. Shapiro
  • The Latin Salutatory speaker Thomas Wickham Schmidt broke tradition by including a marriage proposal to Anastacia Rohrman at the end of his speech. WHT_RohrSchmidtThe event was also covered by NBC’s Today Show where Rothman and Schmidt were interviewed.
  • According to the June 6th, 2007 edition of the Princeton Alumni Weekly, ”The two were married in August 2000, after Wick’s first year at Yale Law School.”

WHT_RohrSchmidt2

1998  Baccalaureate: Senator Tom Harkin and wife Ruth Harkin, senior VP at United Technologies Corporation. Parents of Amy Harkin. Both husband and wife spoke to honor 25 years of coeducation at Princeton. This is the first time that there has been two baccalaureate speakers.
1997 – Baccalaureate: Senator William Frist ’74

1996 – Princeton University’s  250th Anniversary

1995 Baccalaureate: Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts

1994 Baccalaureate: Wynton Marsalis

1993 Baccalaureate: Garry B. Trudeau, Cartoonist. You may view the commencement in its entirety in an upcoming blog post.

1992 Baccalaureate: Rt. Reverend Dr. Frederick H. Borsch ’57
1991 Baccalaureate: William Crowe Jr. *65, retired chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff
1990 Baccalaureate: Johnetta Cole, President of Spelman College
1989 Baccalaureate: Honorable Andrew Young
1988 Baccalaureate: Representative Patricia Schroeder
1987 Baccalaureate: George E. Rupp ’64
1986 Baccalaureate: Governor Thomas H. Kean ’57
1985 Commencement: William Bowen. Baccalaureate: Ira D. Silverman (Fun Fact: Theodore Seuss Geisel aka ‘Dr. Seuss’ was given an honorary degree this year.)

1984 Baccalaureate: Honorable Paul Sarbanes ’54 P’84, (Maurice Sendak received an honorary degree this year, author of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’)
1983 Baccalaureate: The Rev. Dr. Homer U. Ashby Jr. ‘68
1982 Baccalaureate: The Honorable Charles B. Renfrew, ’52. (Stephen Hawking received an honorary degree)
1981 Baccalaureate: Dr. Sissela Bok,
1980 Baccalaureate: Michael M. Stewart, M.D. ’57, Commencement: William Bowen Minutes from the Senior Class Committee from January 13th, 1980 mention a sub-committee had been formed to find ways to expand Class Day.
1979 Baccalaureate: Redmond C. S. Finney ’51,
1978 Baccalaureate: Gerson D. Cohen
1977 Baccalaureate: Theodore M. Hesburgh
1976 Baccalaureate: James I. McCord
1975 Baccalaureate: Professor Gregory Vlastos, Ph.D., B.D., D. D., LL.D., (Princeton University Philosophy Department)
1974 Baccalaureate: The Reverend Thomas P. Stewart, ’51.
1973 Baccalaureate: The Reverend Dr. John B. Coburn ’36, Charter Trustee

Until 1972, the baccalaureate speaker was the current President of the University. Beginning in 1973, outside speakers were invited.

1969: Representative from the Class Day Committee asks President Goheen to approve the re-institution of planting ivy with class year stone markers around Nassau Hall rather than the previous (expensive) tradition of breaking $200 worth of clay pipes. The representative also suggested that the message of planting rather than destroying is better for Class Day. Commencement: Unlisted. Baccalaureate: President Goheen.

1968: Many of this year’s events were modified due to the Assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy on June 4th. The Alumni parade was smaller and within campus, the baseball game and Triangle Club performances were cancelled. Commencement/Baccalaureate and Class Day President Goheen.

1949 Baccalaureate: Harold Dodds

1945

  • February 22nd 1945 – Winter term exercises held again in Nassau Hall. This also marks the first graduation in two years where honorary degrees have been given. The address was given by the Head of the Faculty Robert K. Root and the benediction was given by the Dean of the University Council.
  • June 23rd 1945 – Spring term exercises held on front campus. Address is given by Dean Christian Gauss. Benediction is given by Dr. Arthur L. Kinsolving.
  • October 22nd 1945 – The smallest number of graduates have commencement held in President Harold Dodds office. 20 students are candidates for degrees. Only 11 are present for the conferring of the degrees.

1944

  • January 5th 1944 – 26 members of Class of 1944 graduated in brief ceremony in Nassau Hall
  • February 22, 1944 – 35 degrees given. Dr. Charles G. Osgood gives the commencement speech. Students in armed forces were instructed to wear uniforms while others wear the traditional cap and gown.
  • April 4th 1944 – 36 degrees given in Nassau Hall.
  • June 24th 1944 – Special Convocation for the Navy V-12 Unit was held on front campus. James V. Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, receives an honorary degree. President Dodds also gave an address to the graduating members.
  • The 24th also included regular commencement exercises with the address given by Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen ’19. President Dodds gave concluding remarks.
  • September 19th and October 19th held additional Special Convocations for the Navy V-12 Unit
  • October 25th a small regular ceremony took place in Nassau Hall.

1943

  • On January 29th and 30th Princeton observed its first winter commencement in almost 200 years. This was due to the 315 members of the 1943 class that sped up their courses so they could report to active duty.
  • Commencement was combined with the baccalaureate address took place in the university chapel. Charles Scribner Jr. gave the Latin Salutatory and President Dodds gave the commencement speaker.
  • Joseph C. Grew, former Ambassador to Japan spoke at the Princeton commencement luncheon
  • The spring commencement was held on May 28th and 29th and would be the last formal commencement for the duration of the war. The class day customary exercises were condensed into one ceremony. President Dodds gave his address at commencement as usual.
  • On September 29th the University held its 3rd commencement ceremony of the year for undergraduates a the end of the current quarter. The ceremony was held in the Faculty Room of Nassau Hall
  • The 4th and final commencement occurred on October 28th for 26 members of the Class of 1944.

1942 The University’s 195th ceremonies took place against a background of total war. A new event was introduced into the commencement season because of this. A Service of Dedication “a dedication of all that we have and all that we are, with no counting of the cost.”

1929 – View scenes from the Class of 1929′s commencement activities in this complimentary blog post.

February 21st, 1920 86 Members of the Class of 1918 & 1919 graduates returning from War Service. Informal exercises were held in the Faculty Room of Nassau Hall. “This was the first time in in the recollection of alumni that graduation exercises were ever conducted at any other time than the spring of the year” The Daily Princetonian Feb 23, 1920.

From 1792 to about 1918 the Valedictory, Salutatory and other speeches were given by students and members of the college. While details are few, the programs still include photos, schedules and class roll. These can be viewed here at the archives at Mudd Library and are located in the Commencement Records collection.