One of the most beautiful spaces in the library is the Princeton Room. This room houses our Local History books and also many maps, city directories, and a vertical file of clippings related to Princeton and some of the people who have lived here. One little-known collection in the room features a few DVD documentaries about the town, Princeton University, and even one about the library itself. I compiled a list of these DVDs for those who would like to watch a bit of very local history.
With one exception, we have two copies of the titles on the list. There is only one copy of the Quark Park documentary, and this DVD is reference-only and can be viewed in the library. All of the other titles have an extra copy that can be checked out.
This DVD is about as local as we can get. It is a tour of the Princeton Public Library made when the new building opened back in 2004 and features interviews with the many artists whose works grace the building.
This documentary tells the story of the 1948 integration of Princeton elementary schools through interviews with historians and with students and educators who were involved in the process.
This is a tribute to William Trego, the director of the Princeton High School Choir from 1964 to 1992 and director of the Freshman Singers at Princeton University. It includes interviews with Trego’s colleagues and former students as well as archival footage of the Princeton High School Choir under his direction. In addition, it features a memorial concert to honor Trego that was held at Princeton University Chapel with the Princeton High School Choir, Princeton University Glee Club, and a choir of alumni singers.
Quark Park was the brainchild of gardener and dreamer Peter Soderman. Soderman, along with architect Kevin Wilkes, landscape architect Alan Goodheart and an array of artists and writers, built a unique sculpture park in a vacant lot in downtown Princeton. This DVD recalls that summer and fall of 2006 through interviews with the academic celebrities and artists who got caught up in the whirlwind of thought, work and creativity.
This documentary focuses on the work of the Historical Society of Princeton and includes interviews with Princeton residents.
Home to one of the world’s great universities, Princeton, to the casual observer, is a progressive community of unparalleled beauty and grace. Yet upon closer inspection, Princeton can also be seen as a town divided, racially, economically and sociologically. The most obvious division is between the university and the town itself, and nowhere was this division more keenly felt than during the tumultuous period of the late ’60s through the early ’70s. This documentary is a deeply personal look at this time and place.
I hope everyone who loves this town discovers something to watch and enjoy in the Princeton Room.
Photo courtesy of the author.
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