Postcard collection offers historical views of Princeton

Marquand Chapel

Views of the Princeton campus during the first half of the 20th century can be found in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library's Historical Postcard Collection, which is now available online. The collection includes images of buildings that no longer exist, such as Marquand Chapel, which burned down in 1920.     Images: Courtesy of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library

A collection of more than 500 historical postcards depicting the Princeton University campus and the towns surrounding it made its online debut in July. Images of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library's Historical Postcard Collection are available in the online gallery.

Cheering fan

This postcard celebrating Princeton football is one of several souvenir Princetoniana postcards in the collection.

Most of the postcards are from the 1900s through the 1960s, offering a view of the campus grounds and buildings as they looked during the first half of the 20th century. The collection features monochrome and color postcards, canceled and unmarked.

There are images of buildings that no longer exist, such as the John C. Green School of Science, which was located near the site of Firestone Library and burned down in 1928, and Marquand Chapel, which was located to the east of Nassau Hall and was destroyed by fire in 1920. Historically significant buildings such as Nassau Hall and Alexander Hall are captured, as well as images of the campus landscape and the areas surrounding the campus. Several postcards show the old "Dinky" train station, which was moved south in the 1920s, with Blair Hall behind it and horse-drawn carriages in front of it. Also included are several souvenir Princetoniana postcards, which feature vivid orange banners and tigers.

Overlooking Blair Hall

The collection includes several historical images of the "Dinky" train station in front of Blair Hall before it was moved south in the 1920s.

The collection was developed over several decades through numerous acquisitions from alumni and other donors. It is open to the public for viewing at the Mudd Library.
Several of the postcards are inscribed on the back. The sender of one depicting Murray-Dodge Hall wrote, "This is one of the university buildings. The green coloring is no exaggeration. It is the most beautiful campus I have ever seen."

For additional news from the Mudd Library, visit its blog.

Nassau Hall, 1906

A postcard from 1906 featuring Nassau Hall is one of many pieces in the collection that highlight historically significant buildings on campus.