January 23, 2022

Princeton University Library Builds Collection of Local History Across the United States

From Princeton University:

As Princeton University Library (PUL) increasingly works to ensure further access to diverse intellectual and cultural research for not only Princeton’s scholars but also national and international researchers, a librarian at PUL is building a collection of local history from different regions across the United States. Established by Steve Knowlton, the Librarian for History and African American Studies, the project aims to help fill a current gap in collection development created by a steady decline of local library budgets.

“The purpose here is to leverage Princeton’s resources to fill in [these] gaps. . .” Knowlton said. “It benefits not only Princeton users, but the users at other libraries.” 


“This is a vast, vast area to collect in,” Knowlton commented. According to David Magier, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Collections and Research Services, “Local history materials from around the country are essential for a wide range of research areas in social, political, and economic history. Because this material has mostly been collected by local libraries, the national capacity for its discovery and access has been somewhat limited. PUL’s focus on this area through Steve Knowlton’s targeted collecting will significantly enhance that capacity and bring more of these hidden gems into the mainstream of academic library access and research.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.