Mission & History

The Friends of the Princeton University Library (FPUL) play an important role in providing funding support for the acquisitions of the Library, while enjoying regular programs (Friends Events) and unique opportunities to participate in special events. FPUL also works with the Student Friends of the Princeton University Library, supporting their activities.

Founded in 1930, FPUL has grown from a small group of individuals to include several hundred members, across the country and internationally.

While many FPUL members are University alumni or faculty, many others are connected through a shared commitment to Princeton University Library’s mission. FPUL welcomes all members who have an interest in books, libraries, manuscripts, and the graphic arts on all topics. An affiliation to Princeton University is not required.

The Friends secure gifts and bequests, provide funds for major acquisitions that could not otherwise be purchased, support special programs and projects within the Library, and offer short-term fellowships for visiting researchers and scholars.

The Friends have published a journal continuously since their founding as well as more than twenty monographs, such as the best-selling “Afternoon of an Author: A Selection of Uncollected Stories and Essays” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

FPUL members receive the Review and two issues of the Princeton University Library Chronicle. The Chronicle publishes articles of scholarly importance in the humanities or social sciences, reports on rare or unique materials in the Library, and essays on books or book collecting—all written for the general reader.

Friends are also invited to participate in a variety of activities and events during the academic year. These include exhibition openings, lectures and talks, the family offerings of Cotsen Children’s Library, gala dinners, and workshops on topics such as preservation, bookbinding, and print collecting. The Friends also host special events for members only, including trips and backstage tours of Library services and facilities. 

Student Friends of the Library

In the fall of 2005, a student branch of membership was formed that not only has access to the vast array of activities coordinated by the Friends, but also hosts events specifically designed for students. The Student Friends builds upon its vision to enrich our curiosities about libraries and the rare books they house through lectures, tours of special collections embedded within the Princeton community, and excursions throughout the greater East Coast.

On behalf of the dedicated individuals who have contributed to the founding of the Student Friends, it is our sincere hope that the organization contributes to the mission of the Friends of the Library while building upon Princeton's commitment to spark intellectual curiosity through the exploration and discovery of books, libraries, and the treasures hidden therein.