By Himaayah Agwedicham ’20 and Jasper Gebhardt ’20
Student Assistant for Technical Services: Himaayah Agwedicham ’20
This summer, I’ve worked as an assistant under Lynn Durgin, Special Collections Assistant for Technical Services. I process and review the records for senior theses, alumni files, and doctoral dissertations. Generally, I work most closely with the influx of newer materials that will become additions to the documented history of Princeton University. I spend most of my time in Mudd’s processing room, where I work on a library computer to review or log collections.
Although I usually work with new materials, one of my first projects was to collect and check for duplicates in Mudd’s extensive Class Reunions Books Collection (AC214). Princeton Reunions are notorious for being the largest and most consistently attended of such celebrations in the world. Over 25,000 alumni, family, and friends attend the celebration each year. Continue reading
By Phoebe Nobles
“This must be the unglamorous part of working at the archives,” said our donor as we hauled a giant box of empty boxes up the stairs to his office. In fact, no! The “pickup” is among the glamours of archival work.
Our team of three left the loading dock of Mudd in a rented minivan around 8:30 in the morning, toting 50 pristine “Miracle” boxes, headed for a Brooklyn brownstone where a second-floor office had stored a diplomat’s papers for the past seven years. We crossed the Goethals and the Verrazano. We sat on the BQE. It was no accident that our trip coincided with street cleaning in the neighborhood. Syncing ourselves with alternate-side parking rules was the way to get our spot.
We noticed the stoop’s steep flight of stairs. Our donor let us in and led us up another flight, apologizing for the state of the office, but it was tidy by our standards.
A new exhibition is opening at Mudd Library on November 9 at 4:30PM. “Learning to Fight, Fighting to Learn: Education in Times of War” examines higher education in wartime at Princeton and beyond from the French and Indian War to the Vietnam War.
A gallery of behind-the-scenes photos of our work on the new exhibition.
Since its founding, Princeton University has been shaped by every major war, whether it took place on American soil or halfway around the world. Most colleges and universities in the United States have had to address their role during wartime. Traditional college students are at the prime age of enlistment, and when war loomed, academic institutions looked for the best ways to continue to educate students while also preparing them for combat. The Princeton community has borne the demands of conflict from the colonial period forward. Through the Princeton University Archives and the collections of the Public Policy Papers, this exhibition reviews how education and the pursuit of knowledge evolved over the span of 200 years through the lens of a series of wars.
A gallery of selected exhibition highlights.
This exhibition will be on display through Reunions 2018.
A small exhibit currently on display in the lobby of Mudd Library contains archival material highlighting Princeton’s connections to slavery. The exhibit includes an offer of financial support on the condition that students be admitted “irrespective of Color” rejected by the Board of Trustees in 1835 and an 1861 note in a student’s autograph book signed “Though your deadly foe in public I am in private life your friend,” among other items.
Office of the President Records (AC117), Box 23, Folder 5.
By Dan Linke
James A. Baker III ’52, the distinguished public servant and five-time presidential campaign manager who served as the 61st U.S. Secretary of State, will open his papers that are held at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University on January 1, 2018. Donated in 2002, originally the papers were to remain closed during Baker’s lifetime or until his 100th birthday. Soon researchers will be able to examine his work in senior government positions under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, as well as his role in five consecutive presidential campaigns from 1976 to 1992 for Presidents Gerald Ford, Reagan, and Bush.
In 1976 Baker (pictured here) served as President Gerald Ford’s “delegate hunter” in the primary race, successfully fending off a challenge from Ronald Reagan, then went on to lead Ford’s national campaign in the fall. In the 1980 primary, he was the campaign manager for his close friend and tennis partner George H. W. Bush, then joined the Reagan-Bush campaign for the general election. He would then serve as the campaign manager for the subsequent three Republican presidential campaigns. (From the James A. Baker III Papers, Box 265, Folder 1.)
The senior thesis, the capstone of a Princeton student’s academic experience, has moved further into the 21st century with Thesis Central, a new thesis collection and management tool. Working closely with the Office of Information Technology and the Office of the Dean of the College (ODOC), the Princeton University Archives launched the site on Monday, March 27 in order to begin collecting the theses that are due during the months of April and May.
Courtney Perales ’17, Anthropology. Thesis Due: April 17.
Seniors will log into the system with their NetIDs, with much of the necessary information pre-populated into the collection form. In fact, seniors will only need to do three or four things after logging in: provide their thesis titles; upload the thesis files (and any supporting files such as datasets or videos); affirm they followed University rules regarding the work; and, if their department requires one, cut and paste their abstracts. Students are also provided a link to the ODOC page should they wish to request any type of restriction.
Antoine Crepin-Heroux ’17, Electrical Engineering. Thesis Due: May 8.
After departmental and library review, all theses will be available via DataSpace by the start of the new school year. Since its launch in 2014, use of the online database has been very high. Last year students on campus searched and downloaded over 14,000 theses, an impressive number given that the database has not yet reached 5,000 individual theses. (For copyright reasons, theses are not downloadable from off campus.)
See the Mudd Library website for detailed information about the new submission process.
This post was written by Phoebe Nobles, the archivist who processed the Granville Austin Papers.
We are pleased to announce the addition of the Granville Austin Papers (MC287) to the Public Policy Papers at Mudd Manuscript Library. Austin (1927-2014) was an independent scholar and political historian who wrote two of the seminal works on the constitution of India, and garnered esteem enough in the Republic of India to receive its fourth-highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri Award, in 2011.
Free of nearly a century of British rule, India created a Constituent Assembly to draft the constitution between late 1946 and 1949. The Constituent Assembly adopted the constitution on November 26, 1949, and the document became effective on January 26, 1950, declaring India a sovereign democratic republic, and resolving to secure justice, liberty, and equality to its citizens and to promote fraternity among them. Austin was to make a case for India’s constitution as “first and foremost a social document.”
How did Vermonter Granville Austin, known as “Red” to his friends and colleagues, come to be read so widely by students of Indian political history and to be cited in decisions of the Indian Supreme Court? His life’s work did not fit neatly the mold of the academic historian. With a degree from Dartmouth College in 1950, he began his career as a photographer and journalist for a local Vermont-New Hampshire newspaper. He joined the U.S. Information Service as a photographer in Vietnam in the mid-1950s, and later as political analyst and press attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Austin left Beirut to study at Oxford, and his graduate thesis would become his first book, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation, published in 1966.
Granville Austin at the U.S. Information Agency office, Saigon, 1960s. Granville Austin Papers (MC287), Box 12.
By Jessica Serrao
Join us at the Mudd Library as we celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Princeton University’s Triangle Club with an exhibit featuring archival materials from the Triangle Club Records housed in the University Archives. The exhibit walks you through some highlights from the past century and a quarter bringing to light the extensive history of this Princeton standard. Playbills, photographs, sheet music, memorabilia, travel plans, costume sketches, and, of course, punny titles, can all be found in this exhibit, and to a much greater degree in the Triangle Club Records.
The history of the Triangle Club is long and involved, but it’s still kicking today. During the mid-nineteenth century, dramatics at Princeton began in fits and starts as it struggled to take hold within a college steeped in Presbyterian morals. By 1883, religious views softened and Triangle Club’s predecessor formed as the Princeton College Dramatic Association (PCDA). “David Garrick” was PCDA’s first production held May 10, 1883. By 1891, PCDA had joined forces with the University Glee Club to stage its first musical performance, “Po-ca-hon-tas.” It was so successful, it was performed again the next year with revisions.
Some of the cast of “Po-ca-hon-tas,” 1891. Triangle Club Records (AC122), Box 93.
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.
When we launched our Tumblr page in January 2015, we filled it with a variety of content on the history of Princeton University, but it didn’t take long for us to discover that one alumnus in particular consistently received a lot of attention on the platform: James Maitland Stewart ’32. In honor of this, we currently have an exhibit case in our lobby dedicated to Stewart’s long-term connection to Princeton: “‘This Is More Than a School’: James M. Stewart 32’s Princeton.”
Jimmy Stewart, the son of Alexander “Eck” Stewart of the Class of 1898, wrote on his 1928 application to Princeton that he chose it due to family connections and his belief that Princeton “is by far the best equipped to give me a broad, profitable education, provided that I apply myself diligently to the work.” His dreams of becoming a civil engineer, however, were short-lived. Diligent work proved a challenge in the face of tempting recreational activities. He later told Princeton Living, “College algebra was like a death blow to me.” He did especially poorly in a Shakespeare course and “did not survive Spanish.” Unable to keep up in his classes, Stewart was forced to attend summer school to avoid flunking out. At the end of Stewart’s freshman year, his math professor told him, “You’d better think very seriously about being something else [other than a civil engineer], or you’ll be in deep trouble.”