Mission & History

The Friends of the Princeton University Library (FPUL or the Friends) play an important role in supporting the Library’s mission and activities, while offering programs, events and unique opportunities. The Friends secure gifts and bequests, provide funds for major acquisitions, special programs, and projects within the Library, and offer short-term fellowships for visiting researchers and scholars. Additionally, the Friends offer assistance for the activities of the Student Friends of the Princeton University Library: an organization described further below.

Founded in 1930, FPUL has grown from a small group of individuals to a body of several hundred members, across the U.S. and internationally. The Friends welcome those who have an interest in books, libraries, manuscripts, and the graphic arts. Although many FPUL members are University alumni or faculty, others are connected through a shared commitment to the mission of Princeton University Library. An affiliation with Princeton University is not required for membership in the Friends.

Since its founding, the organization has continuously published a scholarly journal as well as more than twenty monographs, such as the widely acclaimed “Afternoon of an Author: A Selection of Uncollected Stories and Essays” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Our journal, the Princeton University Library Chronicle contains peer-reviewed articles in the humanities, social sciences, and other fields. It also contains reports on rare or unique materials among the Library’s collections as well as essays on books and book collecting; all written for the general reader. The Friends of the Princeton University Library Review is an additional FPUL publication. This colorful periodical updates members on recent Friends events and activities, Friends-assisted acquisitions, and news about the scholarly and collecting activities of our members.

Member Benefits

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


Student Friends of the Princeton University Library

In the fall of 2005, an organization was formed to provide Princeton students with an array of Library related activities and events to stimulate their curiosity about libraries and the special collections they house. Student Friends are invited to lectures, and tours of Library collections and facilities as well as visits to local private collections, and excursions along the East Coast. Members of the Student Friends also enjoy access to many of the activities coordinated by the Friends. The mission of the Student Friends is to help fulfill Princeton's commitment to stimulate intellectual curiosity among students through the exploration and discovery of books, libraries, and their hidden treasures.