At the heart of the Society’s ability to serve the community are its important museum and archival collections. Used by scholars, students, genealogists, architects, local business people and the general public, the collections document daily life in Princeton from early settlement to the 21st century. Items include furniture, paintings, clothing, household objects, manuscripts, photographs, architectural drawings, and maps.
The Society’s Einstein Furniture Collection includes 65 pieces of furniture owned and used by Albert Einstein, who lived in Princeton from 1933 to 1955. More than 800 manuscript collections include family papers, records of Princeton businesses (especially real estate) and institutions (including local schools), oral history transcripts, and scrapbooks. Specific holdings include the papers of the Stockton and Olden families, two of the town’s early families; the papers of pioneering geologist Arnold Guyot; and the records of local organizations such as the Friendship Club, an early 20th-century African-American women’s civic group. The images found in the Rose Studio, Laurie Vance Johnson, and the Princeton Packet photographic collections record almost every aspect of Princeton in the late 19th and 20th centuries. More than 2,000 architectural drawings represent the work of Rolf Bauhan, Howard Russell Butler, Kenneth Kassler, James A. Kerr, and other prominent architects working in Princeton.