Thursday, October 22, 2009

Diggin' in the Mudd: Princeton Makes the News

A chill is creeping into the air at Princeton, and there are some days where you may just not want to leave your dorm. Even then, however, you can glimpse some of the cool things at Mudd and other branches of the Princeton library on the Princeton Library Digital Collections. While this archive isn’t completely expanded yet it has lots of interesting pieces of Princeton’s history and of random other history.

For example, if you were really interested in last week’s Prox articles on coeducation, you can read a whole book on Gender in the academy, here.

If you’re interested in photography or just like looking at pretty pictures of Princeton there’s an entire history of Princeton postcards like this one:
Image property of the Princeton Digital Library Collections. You can see more here.

But if you’re interested in the history of Princeton the most interesting slice of history on the site is The Princeton Local Express.

This was a paper published from 1935-1938 “devoted to the interests of the people of Princeton and vicinity.” Obviously it didn’t focus totally on the university, but it does have some interesting tidbits on university life. Articles that discussed the work of the WPA, FDR’s monumental anti-Depression legislation were side by side with tidbits about Princetonian life.

Some examples:
  • Theatre Intime Opens Activities- Famous Broadway Play to be First Production (it was “Spread Eagle”). All the male participants have class years listed, while Miss Barbara Brown “of New York” takes the leading female role.
  • Princeton University plans New Library, is a front page story on November 7, 1935. “it is planned to be the educational center of the university, a great meeting place for students and teachers.” It would be built on the corner of Nassau St. and Washington St. Hmm, I wonder what library that was? (It eventually opened in 1948.)
  • Tigers Ready for Harvard, the same issue proclaims, Princeton still Unbeaten, Crimson Yet To Win Major Victory. Go Princeton!
  • The Society column announces that the Princetonian-Tiger dance, given by the boards of two University publications will be held this evening in the gymnasium and that Professor and Mrs. Philip Kissam will entertain this weekend and then go to New Haven, the weekend of the Yale-Princeton game. Did we really need to know?

These are only some of the interesting tidbits to be found in the Princeton Local Express and the rest of the Princeton Digital Library. If you like history, consider taking a look at it one of those cold days when you just don’t want to leave your dorm, but still want some academic stimulation. It will deliver.


Anonymous said...

Copies of these vintage postcards are available for purchase at the art museum.