Catalogue, The,

Catalogue, The, as we know it today, made a rudimentary appearance in 1819, the College having functioned happily and successfully without one for over seventy years.

An earlier ``catalogue'' appeared in 1770, but it was of another kind: a listing of all the officers and graduates since the College's founding. For more than a century it retained the use of Latin for it headings (Praesides, Cura~tores, Facultas Artium) and for most given names. This cumulative roll appeared triennially from 1786 through 1886, again in 1896, and in 1906 culminated in the General Catalogue of Princeton University 1746-1906. Meantime, the Alumni Directory, containing names and addresses of living alumni, made its first appearance in 1888.

The 1819 prototype of today's annual college catalogue was entirely in English; its twelve pages consisted of a list of the current ``officers and students of Nassau Hall.'' Beginning in 1821, the catalogue added a list of studies for each class and a half-page ``advertisement,'' giving the dates of Commencement and the fall and spring vacations. In 1829 the ``advertisement'' grew to three pages with a list of courses offered and brief references to admission procedures, expenses, the library, and scientific apparatus.

The Catalogue grew with the College and the University, increasing from eighteen pages in 1844 to 668 pages in 1941. Beginning in 1942, information about graduate work was published in a separate Graduate School Announcement, and beginning in 1958, descriptions of courses for undergraduates and other material of special interest to them was issued in a separate Undergraduate Announcement. In recent years, the different issues of the Catalogue have been undergoing changes in format and design reflecting changes in the University itself.


From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978).

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