This blog includes text and images drawn from historical sources that may contain material that is offensive or harmful. We strive to accurately represent the past while being sensitive to the needs and concerns of our audience. If you have any feedback to share on this topic, please either comment on a relevant post, or use our Ask Us form to contact us.

This Week in Princeton History for September 4-10

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a system is put in place to warn passengers of departing trains, a new student reflects on having a roommate of a different race, and more.

September 4, 1868—So people do not miss their trains, a bell will now be rung five minutes before departure from Princeton, which is intended to give everyone the opportunity to reach the depot in time.

Railroad depot with a small train parked at it
Princeton Junction railroad depot, 1867. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP74, Image No. 2973.
Groups of people eating a meal in a dining hall
Students dining in Princeton University’s “Commons,” ca. 1970s. Admission Office Records (AC152), Box 9. (Image has been digitally enhanced to address color fading.)

September 5, 1982—The Class of 1986 arrives on campus, kicking off a new residential college system. Incoming students and sophomores will no longer dine in a single complex (the “Commons”) in favor of eating within their individual residential colleges.

A computer monitor with a scanned image displayed
An example of a digitized card from Princeton University Library’s card catalog, April 15, 1994. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 146.

September 9, 1993—A large-scale project to scan the card catalog for Princeton University Library is underway. The project is ambitious—when finished, “Princeton will have the largest image database of any library in the world.”

September 10, 1969—Jan Robinson ’73 writes about her relationship with her new roommate, Laurie Watson ’73, in her journal:

The Blacks here stick together. We don’t separate, we just don’t integrate. We have to maintain our own culture. However, Laurie and I are still eating together. She’s the most natural person. She accepts people as people. I’ve lived with whites before. … But Laurie’s different. She doesn’t profess to know anything about Black problems, but she tries to understand. We talk on a human level, neither of us trying to impress the other.

Robinson’s diary will later be printed in Redbook.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

One response to “This Week in Princeton History for September 4-10”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.