In Defense of Comics: A Daring Voice in a Senior Thesis

An exhibition of the comics collection and senior thesis of William Johnson Jones, Jr. ’57. The thesis, Comic Books, opens to a reproduction of comic strips featuring Donald Duck and his three nephews.

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections welcomed members of the Class of 1957, who were back in Princeton for a formidable 60th Reunion last week, with an exhibition of comic books dated from the 1940s and 1950s. Selected from a donation made by William Johnson Jones, Jr. ’57 to Princeton, these paperback funnies embody the passion of a youthful comics reader and collector, and the independent mind of a student-scholar who disagreed with authority opinions.

Walt Disney’s comic magazines and books dated from the 1940s and 1950s, collected by William Johnson Jones, Jr. ’57 for his thesis research and donated to the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in 1998.

For his senior thesis, Comic Books, Mr. Jones examined a controversial format of reading materials—comic books. By the time he finished his typewritten manuscript in 1957, an anti-comics movement had successfully put crippling restrictions on the industry, based on widespread public concern about “the deleterious purported effects” that comics had on young readers (Tilley 384). It wasn’t until three decades later that comics would begin its slow climb back up towards mainstream acceptance and even appreciation, when Art Spiegelman used the powerful visual narrative to relate his bleeding Jewish family history in Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (1986), one that is allegorically disguised as a story of helpless mice and menacing cats.

Comic Books, a senior thesis submitted by William Johnson Jones, Jr. to Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University in 1957. (Mudd Manuscript Library, AC102)

Jones, however, decided to investigate the validity of accusations piled upon comics in his senior paper. Read sixty years after its completion, the undergraduate writer’s lucid analysis, scientific reasoning, and common sense argument stand strong in what can almost be seen as a prescient defense of comics. Jones was not afraid of taking on Fredric Wertham, a psychiatrist who treated children identified as juvenile delinquents in New York City and the central figure of the anti-comics crusade. Wertham’s influential book, Seduction of the Innocent (1954), claims that through his personal clinical research with young people he found a causal relationship between reading what he broadly defined as crime comics and juvenile delinquency. His testimony on the harm of the format is thought to be hugely responsible for bringing about the restrictive editorial code imposed on comics publishing and eventually the decline of the industry in the 1950s (Tilley 385).

Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent: The Influence of Comic Books on Today’s Youth. New York: Rinehart, [1954]. (Rare Books, 2010-0836N)


We hear a youthful, defiant voice in Jone’s self-conscious challenge he was going to bring against a popular authority figure:

That a serious refutation of Dr. Wertham’s position would be necessary was at first considered ridiculous to me, and I’m sure would still be considered ridiculous by most children’s who, if they want to know what comic books are like, read, not Dr. Wertham, but comic books. But grown-ups seem to be very easily impressed by things that come in hard covers, so this defense is undertaken in deference, not to the soundness, but rather to the popularity, of Wertham’s position. (Jones 41)

To be sure, the incendiary, if well-meaning, psychiatrist was not without contemporaneous detractors. Jones was able to locate robust criticism in a paper titled “The Comics and Delinquency: Cause or Scapegoat” by an NYU education professor named Frederic M. Thrasher and quoted him at length. Thrasher pointed out the lack of rigorous sampling and control in the kind of research published by Wertham, the conflation of correlation with causality, and statements that were asserted without the support of research data (198-203).

It is impressive that, as part of his thesis research, Jones apparently managed to get in touch with Wertham and sought direct response to his inquiry. “He [Wertham] recently told me that, ‘In my opinion comic books have no rightful place in either art or literature.’ ” Jones reported (35).

The thesis shines where Jones’ assessment of comics is empowered by persuasive reasoning and enriched by his sensitivity to social issues. On the sweeping condemnation of comics, he provided a common sense reminder:

The comic strip is just a medium. This may seem too obvious to mention, but it is amazing how often it is forgotten…

Comic books have the distinction of being probably the only medium to be judged, not by their best, but by their worst. Nobody would think of condemning painting because most paintings are bad paintings, or the novel because most novels are awful, but they are only too ready to apply this logic to the comics. (Jones 111)

What really concerned Jones in American comic books was stereotypical depiction of nonwhite characters–“[N]egroes, [J]ews, foreign born. etc.”–which he ranked as “the most serious issue the industry had to contend,” citing antagonistic foreign and racial relations as negative consequences (39-40).

If Jones has made points that seemed to have stood the test of time reasonably well, his refutation of Wertham’s assertions will be appreciated even more deeply in the context of updated understanding of the psychiatrist’s anti-comics work. When the embargo of Wertham’s personal papers at the Library of Congress expired in 2010, comics researcher Carol Tilley, a professor of library of information science at the University of Illinois, made an early excursion into the psychiatrist’s daunting amount of archive, with astounding discoveries. By comparing Wertham’s case notes with young people he had treated and what was printed in Seduction of the Innocent, Tilley documented how Wertham manipulated, overstated, compromised, and fabricated evidence for rhetorical gain, reaching unsupported conclusions about the detrimental effects of comics on young readers’ ethical development and mental health (383).

Whether or not Jones has drawn intuition, confidence, and strength in his thesis research from having been a veteran comics reader (and simultaneously a high-achiever as opposed to a juvenile delinquent), or his firm grasp of scientific methods, or youthful daringness, or a combination of all of those, he has produced a distinct thesis that is worth re-reading at the ripe age of sixty years.


Jones, Jr., William Johnson. “Comic Books.” Princeton University, 1957.

Thrasher, Frederic M. “The Comics and Delinquency: Cause or Scapegoat.” The Journal of Educational Sociology 23.4 (1949): 195-205.

Tilley, Carol L. “Seducing the Innocent: Fredric Wertham and the Falsifications that Helped Condemn Comics.” Information & Culture 47.4 (2012): 383-413.

(Posted by Minjie Chen, East Asian Project Cataloger, Cotsen Children’s Library.)

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New Finding Aids for April and May 2017

New finding aids include the following:

Albert Bensoussan Correspondence with Latin American Writers (C1561)

The collection consists mainly of the professional and personal correspondence of French translator and writer Albert Bensoussan and various Latin American and Spanish authors, including Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, José Donoso, Jorge Edwards, Jorge Godenberg, Mario Goloboff, Suzanne Jill Levine, Luis Mizón, Abel Posse, Manuel Puig, Néstor Sánchez, Severo Sarduy, Manuel Scorza, and Mario Vargas Llosa. He maintains a close relationship with Mario Vargas Llosa and has translated numerous works of his, including Los Cachorros, Pantaleón y las visitadoras, La orgía perpetua, La tía Julia y el escribidor, La señorita de Tacna, Historia de Mayta, and La guerra del fin del mundoOther materials include copies of interviews between Bensoussan and various authors, typescripts of Bensoussan’s translations, ephemera and press from theatrical productions of Bensoussan’s translations.

British Army Account Book of Revolutionary War Expenditures in the Carolinas and Florida (C1559)

Consists of a two-volume account book of British Army military expenditures in North Carolina, South Carolina, and St. Augustine, Florida, during the later years of the American Revolution (1781-1782).

Daniel Chamier Revolutionary War Financial Documents (C1560)

Consists of financial documents and letters pertaining to the accounts of Daniel Chamier, Commissary General of the British Army in North America from 1774 to 1777, detailing the funds expended for provisioning the British Army at the beginning of the American Revolution.

Evelyn Schuyler Schaeffer Family Papers (C1565)

Consists primarily of manuscripts and correspondence of author Evelyn Schuyler Schaeffer (1846-1942). Also included in the collection are the papers of her father, George Washington Schuyler (1810-1888), and her maternal uncle, Charles Scribner (1821-1871), founder of the publishing firm Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Frances de Chollet Collection (MC292)

Frances de Chollet (1900-1999) assisted Allen Dulles with obtaining the diaries of Galeazzo Ciano, the Foreign Minister of Italy from 1936-1943, from Ciano’s wife, Edda, who was also the daughter of Benito Mussolini. The collection is mostly composed of correspondence written to Frances de Chollet from Edda Ciano, though letters from Allen Dulles and other correspondents are included to a lesser extent. The collection also contains a small amount of de Chollet’s notes documenting her face-to-face meetings with Edda Ciano.

Norm Flayderman Collection of George E. Albee Materials (C1558)

Consists primarily of United States Army officer George E. Albee’s correspondence along with other papers, including a diary documenting his service with the 41st Infantry Regiment during the Indian Wars of 1869, which earned him the Medal of Honor. Some research files on Albee and his antique arms collection are also included.

Pierre Matraire Naval Journal and Documents (C1564)

Consists of a journal and other documents of French second class naval officer Pierre Matraire (b. 1791), regarding his service as an accountant on the frigate L’Adrienne (also known as L’Aurore), and later, under Governor of Egypt Muhammad ‘Alī Bāshā (1769-1849) with the Turkish-Egyptian fleet during the Greek War of Independence.

Robert R. Bowie Papers (MC290)

Robert R. Bowie was a foreign policy expert and legal scholar who served four U.S. administrations as policy planner, counselor, and deputy CIA director, while teaching at Harvard Law School and founding Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. The Robert R. Bowie Papers reflect his government service under four administrations, as well as his position at Harvard University, his Army service and work in the postwar military government of Germany, research for books he wrote, and his later activities as a member of national and international policy and strategy organizations.


New additions to existing collections were added to the following finding aids:

John C. Bogle Papers (MC206)

John C. Bogle (1929- ) founded the mutual fund company Vanguard and is a leader in the mutual fund industry. Recent additions to his papers consist of his speeches from 2008-2011.

Joseph Frank Correspondence (C1515)

Joseph Frank (1918-2013) was an American literary scholar best known for his five-volume biography of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which he began in the early 1970s and completed in 2002. Recent additions to his papers include additional correspondence with friends, writers, and academics, along with a small amount of writings, personal documents, and printed materials

T. A. Barron Papers (C1522)

T. A. Barron (1952-) is an American writer of fantasy literature, books for children and young adults, and nature books. Recent additions to his papers include additional publicity materials and artwork related to his books, articles and speeches, personal correspondence, and fan mail.


Updates to existing collections were made to the following finding aids:

Norman Ryder Papers (MC250)

Norman B. Ryder (1923-2010) was a demographer and sociologist who specialized in fertility studies and established the cohort approach to demographic study. The Ryder papers contain his working research notes, drafts, and publications, as well as correspondence and administrative papers from Ryder’s teaching career.

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New Finding Aids for February and March 2017

Letter from Robert Lynd to Sylvia Lynd (1909) from the Sylvia and Robert Lynd Correspondence (C1554)

New finding aids include the following:

A.C. McClurg & Co. Letters from F. G. Browne to C. F. Cazenove (C1553)

Consists of 47 letters from F. G. Browne on behalf of the Publishing Department at Chicago-based American publisher A.C. McClurg & Co. to the firm’s London literary agent C. F. Cazenove, regarding the sale of American titles in England, financial transactions, and other business matters related to publishing.

Ambrose Serle Essays on North America (C1556)

Includes seven essays (likely unpublished) on American affairs and economic opportunities, dating from 1768-1780, by British colonial official, Ambrose Serle (1742-1812).

Aurelio Cortés Collection of Reinaldo Arenas (C1562)

The Aurelio Cortés Collection of Reinaldo Arenas contains a small collection of letters and correspondence with Reinaldo Arenas and others, as well as typewritten drafts of Arenas’ articles and essays, some of which are dedicated to Cortés, a personal friend. Also present are typewritten drafts of Cortés’ own work on his friendship with Arenas.

Cole Family Papers (C1548)

Consists of 12 letters from William, E. B., and Robert Patten to their brother-in-law and sister, George N. and Olivia Cole about their experiences in San Francisco during the gold rush, along with additional Cole family documents.

David Gelston Family Correspondence (C1547)

Primarily includes correspondence kept by merchant and politician David Gelston during his time as Collector of Customs for the Port of New York (1801-1820) along with some correspondence of Floyd and Delafield family members.

Frederic Dennis Papers on Sylvia Beach (C1540)

This collection consists of selected papers of Frederic Dennis regarding his aunt Sylvia Beach, the founder and owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Company. Recent additions consist of letters (1977-1988) to Dennis from Beach scholar Noël Riley Fitch regarding the Beach family.

Granville Austin Papers (MC287)

Granville Austin (1927-2014) was an independent scholar and political historian known for his work on India’s constitution. The collection is composed of Granville Austin’s research files on India, mostly in the form of published articles or book excerpts that Austin collected and often annotated. The majority of the research files, notes and drafts relate to Austin’s second book, Working a Democratic Constitution, but some files relate to his first book, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation. Topics documented in the collection include the Indian constitution, center-state relations in India, Indian politicians and political parties, U.S. foreign relations with India, cases tried before the Indian Supreme Court, and various other subjects related to India’s political and legal systems. Research material on the Middle East, material relating to Austin’s other writings, professional and personal correspondence, including State Department files, as well as U. S. Information Service photographs and negatives compose additional parts of the collection.

Louis Jefferson Collection on John Foster Dulles (MC291)

Louis Jefferson (1927-2006) served as John Foster Dulles’s personal security guard for five years until Dulles’s death in 1959. The collection is composed of scrapbooks created by Jefferson documenting his travels with Dulles.

Philip Ten Eyck Letters to Philip J. Schuyler (C1551)

Consists of over 40 letters from New York City bookseller and politician Philip Ten Eyck to Philip J. Schuyler that primarily document local, regional, and national politics as well as other prominent current events around the turn of the 19th century.

Sylvia and Robert Lynd Correspondence (C1554)

Consists of three decades of correspondence between married Irish writers Sylvia and Robert Lynd, comprising over 260 letters written in English and Gaelic, that span most of their relationship from 1905 to 1937.

Thomas Colchie ’64 Papers (C1552)

Thomas Colchie (Princeton University alumnus, Class of 1964), is a translator, editor, and literary agent with a specialization in Latin America. His papers consists of correspondence from Jorge Amado, António Lobo Antunes, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Oswaldo França Júnior, Ignácio de Loyola Brandão, Manuel Puig, Murilo Rubião, Ernesto Sábato, José Saramago, Moacyr Scliar, João Ubaldo Ribeiro, José Luandino Vieira, Néstor Almendros, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Elizabeth Bishop, João Cabral de Melo Neto, Joaquim Cardozo, Philip Roth, and Alan Warner.

Thomas Howard “A Sketch of the Interest of Great Britain in her American Colonies, with Some Remarks upon the Policy, Trade, and Commerce of America” Manuscript and Letter (C1555)

Consists of an unpublished manuscript treatise, dating from the late 1760s, most likely authored by British military officer, Thomas Howard (1735–1778), as well as an 8-page letter from Howard written while he was commander of the Grenadier Guards during the American Revolution.


New additions to existing collections were added to the following finding aids:

Charles Ruas Papers (C1372)

Charles Ruas is an American author, interviewer, editor, literary and art critic, and French translator, who served as the Director of the Drama and Literature Department for New York’s Pacifica radio station WBAI-FM in the late 1970s. Additions to the papers include recordings and descriptions of his radio programs, a public television program proposal, and materials related to artists and authors with whom he worked.

Princeton University Library Collection of Albert Einstein Materials (C1022)

A recent addition to this assembled collection of material by or about physicist Albert Einstein consists of four 1941 photographs of Einstein in Princeton taken by photographer Roman Vishniac (1897-1990).

Princeton University Library Collection of John Ruskin Materials (C0196)

A recent addition to this assembled collection of material by or about 19th century English art critic, social reformer, and educator John Ruskin consists of six signed autograph letters from Ruskin to Professor Henry Attwell, discussing Albrecht Dürer’s Knight, Death and the Devil, abstracts of his work, photographs of his pupils, geological specimens, and other matters.

Princeton University Library Collection of Lawrance Thompson Materials (C0479)

Recent additions to this collection of selected papers of author and former Princeton University Library Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts Lawrance Thompson include typescripts of his lectures on Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as for his “Four American Authors” course.

Robert H. Taylor Collection (RTC01)

Some recent additions to this collection of modern English and American literary manuscript materials include manuscript drafts of “The Mistakes, or The Happy Resentment, A Comedy” and “Undkan King of Tartary” by Henry Hyde, Viscount Cornbury (1710-1753); and a collection of 46 loose manuscript verses collected by members of the Hyde and Villiers families (Earls of Clarendon).

Toni Morrison Papers (C1491)

New additions to the finding aid include speeches and lectures; diaries, logbooks, and address books; photographs; awards and memorabilia; and audiovisual materials. Additional writings (short fiction, poetry and lyrics, dramatic works, non-fiction, children’s literature, and personal and miscellaneous writings) are also now described in the finding aid and will be available via digital access in the reading room pending the completion of digitization.


Updates to existing collections were made to the following finding aids:

Diamela Eltit Papers (C1457)

The correspondence series has been re-opened after a restrictions review. Correspondence features personal and work-related correspondence addressed to or from Eltit. Only a select portion of the correspondence remains closed until 2041.

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New Finding Aids for January 2017

Photograph of activist Robert Sundance (left) and photographer Marc Gaede (right), circa 1991-1993, from the Marc Gaede Papers (C1436).

New finding aids include the following:

Marc Gaede Papers (C1436)

Marc Gaede (1946- ) is an American photographer, environmental activist, and teacher based in California. The collection consists of Gaede’s black-and-white photographs of the American West and Southwest, correspondence, contracts, and other working files primarily related to his books on photography, archaeology, and conservation, and a large group of working files, which include audiovisual and digital materials, for a biography project Gaede collaborated on with Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux activist Robert Sundance (1927-1993).

Princeton University Library Collection of J. A. Johnson Photographs (C1549)

Consists of an open collection of photographs by American photographer J. A. Johnson, who was active in the early 20th century. Subjects include American Indians, primarily chiefs from the Sioux Nation, and cowboys in the American West.

Princeton University Library Collection of Reinaldo Arenas Materials (C1546)

Includes an assembled collection of Reinaldo Arenas materials purchased by Princeton University Library. Materials include correspondence between Arenas and his editor at Penguin, Kathryn Court, a correction list for Farewell to the Sea, publicity photographs taken by Arenas’ close friend, Lázaro Gómez Carriles, and a photocopy of Arenas’ last living will.

Robert B. Klausner Papers on Bill Bradley’s Presidential Campaign (MC288)

Robert B. Klausner (1926-2016) was a political activist who supported Bill Bradley’s bid for president in 2000. The collection consists of Klausner’s records related to the overall finances of Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign and to fundraising events in California.

Roberto González Echevarría Collection on Severo Sarduy and Other Latin American Writers (C1543)

Roberto González Echevarría is a Cuban-born critic and Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literature at Yale University. This collection contains his correspondence with Severo Sarduy and other writers and critics including among them Alejo Carpentier, Miguel Barnet, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Nancy Morejón, Octavio Paz, Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Calvin Trilin, J. Wright, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, Rosario Ferré, and José Donoso. Also in the collection are typescripts, audio recordings, photographs, and printed materials particularly relating to González Echevarría’s work on Sarduy.


Revised finding aids:

Bruce and Beatrice Blackmar Gould Correspondence (C0673)

Bruce and Beatrice Blackmar Gould were co-editors at the Ladies’ Home Journal from 1935 to 1962. Their correspondence includes letters between Bruce and Beatrice about their co-editorship and co-authorship, letters with writers for the Ladies Home Journal, and letters from actresses about the Ladies Home Journal. Also included is a collection of letters about Marion Crawford’s book The Little Princesses, a few of Beatrice’s speeches, and miscellaneous printed matter. The finding aid now contains a complete folder inventory.


New additions to existing collections were added to the following finding aids:

Princeton University Library Collection of Andrew Fleming West Correspondence (C1102)

A recent addition to this collection of selected correspondence of former Princeton Dean of Graduate Studies, Andrew Fleming West, includes family correspondence, primarily letters from West to his sister, Clara L. West, and his son, Randolph West.

Princeton University Library Collection of Martha Gellhorn Materials (C1531)

Recent additions to this open collection of letters and memorabilia of American war correspondent, journalist, and novelist Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) include approximately fifty letters from Gellhorn to her adopted son, George “Sandy” Gellhorn, written from Kenya, England, Germany, and the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, along with a portrait sketch of Gellhorn and a group of badges, pins, and dog tags from her time as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

Princeton University Library Collection of Western Americana Photographs (WC064)

Recent additions to this open collection of Western Americana photographs include portrait photographs of Sioux chief Lone Elk, Pima Indian School Police private Erastus Cheroquese, and Arapaho leader Cut Nose by F. A. Rinehart; albumen cabinet cards of Fort Stanton, New Mexico; photographs of Navajo, Apache, and Yaqui Indians in Arizona by Kenji Kawano; and photographs of gold mining and lumbering activities in Siskiyou County, California.

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New Finding Aids for November and December 2016

Footnotes Sing-Off Official Graphic. Series 2: Public Website; 2016; Princeton Footnotes
Records, Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections,
Princeton University Library.

New finding aids include the following:

Blanckley Family Papers (C1542)

Consists of family correspondence and documents (1813-1890) of the Blanckley family, centering on Henry Stanyford Blanckley (1752-1820), British consul in Algeria and the Balearic Islands, and his children and grandchildren. Materials also document the Tonna, Philippides Cammenos, Androutsos, and Rogers families in Great Britain, Malta, the Balearic Islands, France, and Greece.

Francis Catlin Collection on Princeton Bicentennial Celebration (AC452)

Francis Catlin was a member of the Princeton University Class of 1947. The collection contains materials distributed at the 1947 Bicentennial Convocation celebrating Princeton University’s 200th anniversary.

Frederick Quellmalz Jr. Papers on the Princeton Camera Club (AC451)

Frederick Quellmalz Jr. was a member of the Princeton University Class of 1934 and one of the founding members of the Princeton Camera Club, a student organization devoted to photography. This collection consists of print photographs and negatives primarily from the 1930s taken by Quellmalz Jr. and other Club members.

German medical miscellany (Princeton MS. 240)

Manuscript compendium of medical texts from mid-15th century Augsburg, Germany, composed of writings in Latin and German on gynecology, blood circulation, pharmacology, and other topics.

Gisèle Freund Correspondence (C1541)

Gisèle Freund (1908-2000) was a German-born French photographer and photojournalist best known for her portraits of writers and artists of the 20th century, as well as for her documentary photography. The collection consists of her correspondence from 1959 to 1986 with her New York-based literary agents, Marie Rodell, Frances Collin, and Joan Daves, as well as her literary agents’ correspondence with others involved in the publishing of her works and some related chapter drafts, publishing agreements, photograph lists, and publicity materials.

Holly Beach Dennis Letters to Frederic Dennis (C1540)

This collection contains personal correspondence between Holly Beach Dennis and her son, Frederic Dennis. Included in the collection are 37 letters and two photographs of Holly Beach, and her younger sisters, Sylvia and Cyprian.

Pedro Consuegra Papers (C1533)

Pedro Consuegra is a Cuban born French choreographer. His papers include postcard correspondence with Néstor Almendros, German Puig Paredes, Severo Sarduy, and others. The papers also include original issues of SIE, a handwritten underground tabloid, or zine, Consuegra edited for and about gay Latin American expatriates living in France.

Princeton Action for Chile Records (AC450)

Princeton Action for Chile (PAC) was a student organization established in October of 1976 following the assassination of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier in Washington, D.C. The collection consists of flyers, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and publications collected following the assassination that document resistance and responses to the Chilean junta under General Pinochet.

Princeton Footnotes Records (AC449)

The Princeton Footnotes is an all-male a cappella group at Princeton University that was founded in 1959. The organization that became the Footnotes emerged as a dispute within the Glee Club, which resulted in twelve of the Club’s members leaving the Club to form a separate group, the Prospectors. The Princeton Footnotes Records consists primarily of digitized recordings of former Footnotes albums released between 1961 and 1987.


Revised finding aids:

Francis C. Brown Collection on Slavery in America (C0605)

Consists of over 150 manuscript and printed documents related to the institution of slavery in America that were collected from various sources by Francis C. Brown (Class of 1958). Materials pertain to slavery in Louisiana and, to a lesser degree, in Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and the Carolinas, with a few documents relating to the Caribbean and West Africa. While many documents relate to the slave trade and enslaved persons from the perspective of plantation owners and slave traders, others depict resistance to slavery and the lives of free people of color.


New additions to existing collections were added to the following finding aids:

Charles Ruas Papers (C1372)

Charles Ruas is an American author, interviewer, editor, literary and art critic, and French translator who served as the Director of the Drama and Literature Department for New York’s Pacifica radio station WBAI-FM in the 1970s. Recent additions to the papers include a group of photographic materials, including shots taken in the WBAI studio in New York City, as well as promotional photographs and portraits gifted to Ruas by authors and artists with whom he worked; also additional drafts of writings by Ann Arensberg, Marguerite Young, and others.

François Wahl Collection on Severo Sarduy (C1470)

Additional materials include a sizeable collection of travel slides from Wahl and Sarduy’s vacations and other audiovisual materials such as photographs, negatives, and the description of 43 audio cassettes. The audio cassettes will be digitized as part of the Latin American Collections Audio Pilot.

Paul Frankl Papers (C0779)

A recent addition to this collection of correspondence, writings, notebooks, photographs, and printed matter of the Czech art historian, architect, author, and educator Paul Frankl (1878-1962) consists of two boxes of additional corrected typescript drafts of Frankl’s The Gothic: Literary Sources and Interpretations Through Eight Centuries.

Princeton University Library Collection of Modern Greek Materials (C0958)

Recent additions to this open collection of miscellaneous source material related to Modern Greek studies include letters from artists associated with the Pre-Raphaelite circle, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Coley Burne-Jones, to members of the Ionides family, a prominent Greek family living in London in the 19th century known for their patronage of the arts.

Princeton University Library Collection of Patrick Henry Materials (C1165)

A recent addition to this open collection of manuscript material by and about American attorney, politician, and planter Patrick Henry (1736-1799), consists of three documents (1743-1783) related to the legal status and purchase of lands for Henry’s Leatherwood Plantation in Henry County, Virginia.

Princeton University Library Collection of Raymond Mortimer Materials (C0271)

Additions to this collection of correspondence, notebooks, drafts and proofs of articles and reviews, photographs, documents, and printed ephemera of the English literary critic and editor Raymond Mortimer (1895-1980) include additional correspondence with Nancy Mitford, Janet Flanner, Aldous Huxley, Eardley Knollys, and Rebecca West, drafts of articles and reviews, photographs of Mortimer with friends, and printed materials.

T. A. Barron Papers (C1522)

Additions to the papers of American writer of fantasy literature, books for children and young adults, and nature books T. A. Barron (1952-) include editions of books from the Merlin Saga and the Atlantis Saga, international editorial correspondence, articles and speeches, video recordings, personal correspondence, and fan mail.

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