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Nov.14, 2012

Vol. 113, No. 4


Listen to sounds of Princeton

By Brett Tomlinson
Published in the November14, 2012, issue

Princeton, like the Library of Congress, has a collection of significant recordings. The University’s Historical Audiovisual Collection, housed at Mudd Library, includes nearly 2,000 selections that span a full century, beginning with a silent film of President John Grier Hibben 1882’s inauguration in 1912. University Archivist Daniel J. Linke and his staff have flagged about 70 key items — mostly film and video — to be preserved in digital form; many of these can be viewed on the Reel Mudd blog. PAW chose a handful of interesting audio clips from the collection, briefly described below. Listen to segments of each below.

Your Princeton soundtrack

What were the sounds that defined your Princeton years? Late-night arch sings? A favorite professor’s voice? Squeaking sneakers in Jadwin? The Cleveland Tower carillon?

Share your memories in the comments section below or send an email to

Jimmy Stewart ’32 sings, 1931

The future movie star stretches his vocal range to serenade his beloved in a recording of the song “Day After Day,” from the Triangle Club production Spanish Blades.

Goin’ Back with the Class of 1917, 1937

In a rare promotional 45 that includes excerpts of Princeton songs, class president Whit Landon ’17 urges classmates to come back for their 20th reunion; the B-side features an invitation to wives and children.

Basketball’s NCAA Tournament debut, 1952

WPRB’s live broadcast of Princeton’s opening-round clash with Duquesne at Chicago Stadium. A fourth-quarter surge led the Dukes to a 60–49 win.

Honoring Adlai Stevenson ’22, 1968

While dedicating a bust of Stevenson, diplomat George F. Kennan ’25 said of his friend, “No one ever rose more admirably than he to the test of disappointment and defeat.”

A strike against the war, 1970

Following the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, students, faculty, and administrators gathered in Jadwin Gym, where a majority voted for a campus strike to condemn military intervention.

Post Comments
4 Responses to Sounds of Princeton

Yoshiaki Shimizu *75/emeritus faculty, Says:

2012-11-13 10:03:47

I was among those seated in the "paradise" seats. It was a decisive moment for all Princetonians to come together and express their political view, which was for PEACE.

Bob Eby '52 Says:

2012-11-13 10:05:52

I bought the 78 rpm record of Jimmy Stewart's singing "Day After Day" while at PU. Still have it and friends often guess the singer, based on the timbre of his voice.

David C. Reydel Sr. '59 Says:

2012-11-14 12:59:49

Thanks for putting this together. It has great meaning, especially for alums of my era.

Richard S. Peterson '60 Says:

2012-11-20 09:35:09

Great, but nothing about the Nassoons! even though arch sings seemed to be promised. -- Richard Peterson '60, Music Director '57-'60 for the '59 and '61 records, and still arranger
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