Nineteenth-century letters move into 21st century

A collection of John Maclean’s papers are now available online. Maclean, the 10th president of Princeton University, served from 1854-1868 when the institution was known as the College of New Jersey. The letters, acquired last year, were scanned and loaded as PDFs and linked to the collection’s finding aid via its folder list. These letters to and from John Maclean document the history of the College of New Jersey as well as family matters. Maclean was the son of Princeton’s first chemistry professor, and the papers include the 1814 inventory of the estate of his father, John Maclean, Sr. One of the more interesting documents provides evidence of New Jersey’s connections to slavery. See the last two entries of p. 3 of this inventory, found in Box 4, Folder 11.

Newly acquired photo album contains heretofore unknown photos of Woodrow Wilson and Mark Twain

Wilson1_325wA wonderful end of the year gift came to the Princeton University Archives through the generosity of four alumni who serve on the Princetoniana Committee. The item, a photo album from a Class of 1904 graduate, was for sale on eBay. Donald Farren ’58 noted its availability and joined by Dave Cleaves ’78, Scott Clemons ’90, and Sev Onyshkevych ’83, saw that it made its way to the Archives.

The seller had advertised the Woodrow Wilson image (right) but had made no mention of the image of Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain whose photograph was on the same page (below). The images were taken during Wilson’s inauguration as Princeton president in October 1902, and another image of Wilson taken that day is also found within the book.

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The volume, compiled by William Alsop Bours, also contains numerous candid shots of undergraduate student life, including Princeton buildings, snow scenes, students, dormitories, sporting and social events, as well as a set of pictures from a trip to Rome. The volume has been added to the Historical Photgraph Collection, Student Album series.

Mudd Library elevator out of service

Picture%20006Since December 16, the Mudd Library’s elevator has been out-of-service, as the 32-year old system is undergoing an upgrade. Scheduled to be unavailable until the end of January, patrons are advised that box retrieval may take longer than the usual 10 minutes and that patrons may be asked to limit the number of boxes recalled at any one time, depending on circumstances.Picture%20001 Pictured in this blog entry are (from top): the elevator in its present state as seen from the first floor; the old hydraulic controller after it was removed from the elevator closet; and the current means of gaining access to our stacks.Picture%20004

Princeton and the 1918 flu epidemic

The recent issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly has an article by Mark F. Bernstein ’83 on Princeton and the 1918 flu epidemic entitled “Why Princeton was spared.” Within the article, Bernstein cites the University of Michigan’s Center for the History of Medicine 2005 study on the pandemic for which Mudd Library provided documents. The Center’s website has scanned these and other documents from the National Archives, as well as clippings from the Princeton Packet. These materials explain how Princeton responded to an epidemic that claimed millions of lives worldwide, yet the University escaped with no loss of life. (The fact that Princeton could have just been lucky is not ruled out.) The episode is more than a historical curiosity; it has also been examined by those interested in modern threats like bioterrorism and possible new pandemics like avian flu and demonstrates one of the values of archival records.

More blogging on blogs

According to their own website, The Prox “is a blog about campus life, issues, and events at Princeton University hosted by The Daily Princetonian and written by staff from several departments, including Opinion and Web.” We like it because it has a recurring section entitled “Diggin’ in the Mudd” that features materials from our holdings. Authored by Martha Vega, she also photographs and then posts items to the site, and, most important from our point of view, gives us credit! One fun feature of the blog is that certain phrases and sentences are written but struck-out like this, so that you can read the straight news or a more sarcastic interpretation. I guess this is so Martha doesn’t ruin her chances to work for the Wall Street Journal some day.

Dulles centennial talk and reception

In honor of the centennial of John Foster Dulles’s graduation from Princeton University, the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library in conjunction with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs presents Chris Tudda, author of The Truth is Our Weapon: The Rhetorical Diplomacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles. Tudda will speak on Monday, November 10, 2008, 4:30 p.m., Woodrow Wilson School, Bowl 10. A reception at Mudd Library follows the talk where the exhibition “John Foster Dulles: From Diploma to Diplomat” is on view.

Chris Tudda is a Historian in the Declassification and Publishing Division in the Office of the Historian, Department of State, where he declassifies manuscripts for the Foreign Relations of the United States series and co-produces the Office’s internet-only publications. He is also currently compiling a volume on the Carter Administration’s United Nations and Arms Control policies for FRUS. He earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1987 and the Ph.D. from American University in 2002. He is the author of The Truth is our Weapon: The Rhetorical Diplomacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles published by Louisiana State University in April 2006. He is the author of the forthcoming book chapter, “The Devil’s Advocate: Robert Bowie, Western European Integration, and the German Problem, 1953-54,” in Anna K. Nelson, ed., Foreign Policies and the Men who Made Them (Rowman & Littlefield, fall 2008). His article “A Messiah that will Never Come: British Reconciliation Efforts, American Independence, and Revolutionary War Diplomacy,” will be published in the winter issue of Diplomatic History. He is currently researching a reassessment of American Revolutionary War Diplomacy and writing a history of U.S.-China relations during the first Nixon administration.

From Diploma to Diplomat: Princeton exhibition honors John Foster Dulles

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“John Foster Dulles: From Diploma to Diplomat,” a new exhibition at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, celebrates the centennial of John Foster Dulles’ graduation from Princeton University in 1908 with a chronicle of his diplomatic career and his influence on U.S. foreign policy. The exhibition opens Monday, Aug. 11, and runs through Friday, Jan. 30.

Based on the life and work of Dulles (1888-1959), it begins with his work while still a Princeton student as secretary-clerk of the China delegation at the Second Hague Peace Conference in 1907 and culminates with his service as secretary of state for President Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959.

Drawing predominantly from the John Foster Dulles Papers, as well as other related Mudd Library collections, the exhibition tracks his diplomatic career that spanned both World Wars and the Cold War. As a young diplomat, Dulles participated in the Treaty of Versailles negotiations after World War I. Following his involvement in studies on fostering world peace during the 1940s, he also served as the U.S. representative to the United Nations and negotiated several treaties for President Truman, including the Japanese Peace Treaty of 1951 which formally ended World War II. As Eisenhower’s secretary of state, Dulles ushered in a period of hard-line diplomacy that shaped both the country’s relationship with the Soviet Union and overall Cold War doctrine.

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Council on Foreign Relations historical sound recordings now available online

Off-the-record remarks by heads of state and prominent diplomats can be heard in sound recordings of meetings held by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that are now available to researchers online through the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. The digital audio from the meetings can be accessed via an electronic finding aid on the library’s website.

The records of the influential American foreign policy organization include more than 300 reel-to-reel tapes featuring speakers at their meeting programs. These recordings capture speeches given by international figures such as former U.S. President Harry Truman; former U.S. secretaries of state John Foster Dulles and Henry Kissinger; former heads of state Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Yitzhak Rabin of Israel; and former U.S. national security adviser Brent Scowcroft.

The meetings span 1953 to 1989 and open records are available immediately. (Records of CFR are closed for 25 years from the date of creation and audio files that currently are restricted will be opened on a yearly basis).

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