National Endowment for the Humanities at
Princeton Public Library
Princeton Public Library is committed to sustaining and growing humanities programs and projects to enrich the lives of our patrons through thought-provoking public programs, collections development, and broader access to all things humanities related. Humanities programs at the library support the library’s mission to serve as the community’s living room, connecting people through words and ideas to enrich their lives.
The Humanities at Princeton Public Library
The driving force behind humanities programs at the library is a Challenge Grant received in 2007 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The endowment created through the grant and local fundraising efforts provides funding for humanities programs, collections development, and other projects now and into the future.
Princeton Public Library Humanities Advisory Group
This group of volunteers advises the library and helps helps guide and evaluate humanities-based programs and projects. This group includes scholars, practitioners, educators, and community members who help build and maintain relationships between the library and local institutions, offer suggestions for community partnerships, and provide ideas and feedback on programs and projects.
What are the humanities?
The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.
Upcoming Events Spotlight
February 7 @ 7:00pm in the Community Room at Princeton Public Library
Writer and historian Audra Wolfe talks about her book “Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science” which examines the role that scientists, in concert with administrators and policymakers, played in American cultural diplomacy after World War II. During this period, the engines of US propaganda promoted a vision of science that highlighted empiricism, objectivity, a commitment to pure research, and internationalism. Working (both overtly and covertly, wittingly and unwittingly) with governmental and private organizations, scientists attempted to decide what, exactly, they meant when they referred to “scientific freedom” or the “US ideology.” More frequently, however, they defined American science merely as the opposite of Communist science.
Uncovering many startling episodes of the close relationship between the US government and private scientific groups, “Freedom’s Laboratory” is the first work to explore science’s link to US propaganda and psychological warfare campaigns during the Cold War. Closing in the present day with a discussion of the recent March for Science and the prospects for science and science diplomacy in the Trump era, the book demonstrates the continued hold of Cold War thinking on ideas about science and politics in the United States.
February 19 @ 6:30pm in the Newsroom and Discovery Center at Princeton Public Library
Many noted architects have left their mark on the Princeton landscape. Stop by the Discovery Center to examine architectural drawings and other materials that highlight the multitude of styles represented in our small community. The Historical Society of Princeton’s Open Archive series allows visitors to interact with little-seen artifacts and documents from HSP’s vast collection. Featuring a different theme each time, these events present historical material with minimal interpretation (no labels or glass boxes here!) and encourage visitors to make observations, ask questions, and be the historian themselves. HSP’s Curator of Collections and Research will be on hand to share information and answer any questions.
Co-sponsored by the library and the Historical Society of Princeton.
Author Talk: Julian Zelizer and Kevin Kruse on “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974”
March 12 @ 7:00pm in the Community Room at Princeton Public Library
Princeton professors Julian Zelizer and Kevin Kruse, co-authors of “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974,” discuss their book which examines the divisive domestic politics of the last 40 years. The pair argue that the mid-1970s saw multiple rifts in the social order which have led to the political polarization we see today.
The Challenge Grant from the NEH makes all these things possible
Both print and digital collections are continually enhanced to keep up with new releases and to build collections on specific themes.
The goal of the project is to collect, share, and archive stories and memories of Princetonians. Voices of Princeton is a collaborative oral history project between the Princeton Public Library, the Historical Society of Princeton, the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, and the Arts Council of Princeton.
This program provides cardholders with free access to 19 local and regional cultural destinations.
Kanopy provides access our new video streaming service which offers a broad selection of quality documentaries, feature films and training videos from producers including The Criterion Channel, The Great Courses, PBS, Music Box Films, Kino Lorber, First Run Features, BBC, and many more.
Access Video on Demand is an online digital video delivery service that allows you to view streaming videos from Films Media Group anytime, anywhere, 24/7. Choose from more than 6,500 educational titles in many subject areas relating to the humanities and social sciences.