The Princetoniana Committee preserves and disseminates the University's history, lore and traditions. Committee activities encompass a wide variety of projects, from welcoming freshmen at the Pre-rade to arranging exhibitions and tours at Reunions. The committee also works with the University Archives to document Princeton's history by collecting material objects, manuscripts and oral histories.
The Alumni Council of Princeton University established the Princetoniana Committee shortly after the death of Frederic Fox '39 in 1981. In his final annual report as Keeper of Princetoniana, Fox wrote that his position had "particular responsibility for the legends, songs and symbols of the University." Fox added, "some day, there will be another Keeper of Princetoniana. There has to be. As long as there is a Princeton, there will be proud keepers of it." The Princetoniana Committee stepped into the role Fox foresaw.
The committee first met in June 1982 and proclaimed its mission to be "stimulating the accumulation of worthwhile Princetoniana by the University and charged with the receipt, acknowledgement and sorting of such material." In those early days the committee's business often dealt with decisions about proposed gifts of Princetoniana, but soon the committee took a more proactive acquisition role, as when it helped procure the Devereux Tiger. It also helped renovate the old Princetoniana Room, then located in Firestone Library, with a fireplace from Witherspoon Hall (the gift of Henry Martin '48), a new display case and a portrait of Fred Fox '39. In 1990 the room was moved to Seeley Mudd Manuscript Library, home of the University Archives, where rotating exhibitions focus on Princeton's past.