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Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers


This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsSeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.Princeton University Archives.65 Olden StreetPrinceton, New Jersey 08540 USA. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsSeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.Princeton University Archives.65 Olden StreetPrinceton, New Jersey 08540 USA
Creator - cre:
Bunn, Benjamin Franklin, 1875-1971.
Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
1.26 linear feet (3 boxes)
The Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers consist of financial, business and administrative records which Bunn maintained for many Princeton clubs and associations during his 50 years at Princeton University. The papers also contain correspondence with many Princeton and Phillips Exeter Academy classmates, Princeton administrators, and family members. The Triangle Club material contains letters from F. Scott Fitzgerald and notable members of stage and screen.
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Benjamin Franklin Bunn was born on June 24, 1875 on his father's farm in Rockville, Pennsylvania. An early interest in teaching led him to attend Phillips Exeter Academy (Class of 1903) and Princeton University (Class of 1907). However, after holding a part-time job in the Princeton University bookstore while an undergraduate, Bunn became manager of the bookstore upon graduation, a position he held for the next 40 years. He retired in 1963.

Known fondly as "Uncle Frank," "Bunny," or "Mr. Princeton" to his classmates and friends, Bunn served as trustee, treasurer, secretary or advisor to many University clubs and associations including the Triangle Club, The Daily Princetonian, and  Princeton Tiger. As manager of the Triangle Club for 50 years (1908-1958), he arranged for and accompanied the students on over 40 of their cross-country trips. Bunn was also the first manager of the McCarter Theater and oversaw the Princeton Summer Theater. He was active in planning many of his class reunions and served as 1907 Class President from 1956 to 1969. Bunn also restored the trophy cases in Dillon Gym following the fire of 1944.

His dedication to Princeton was honored many times. In 1947, Princeton awarded Bunn an honorary A.M. degree for his long and faithful service to the University. His longtime role as timekeeper at basketball, football and track events led to the creation of the B. Franklin Bunn Award for the best senior basketball player. The Daily Princetonian established an award in his honor for outstanding work by a sophomore editor.

As a resident of Princeton for 60 years, Bunn's interest and service extended beyond the University. He became the only Princeton graduate to serve as mayor of both the Township (1940-1950) and the Borough (1927-1929). He was a founding trustee of the Westminster Choir College; a deacon, elder, and treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church; and trustee of Princeton Hospital, the Princeton YMCA, and the Princeton Community Fund.

Bunn's wife, Grace Traub (whom he married in 1908), died in 1955. Bunn died on November 19, 1971 at the age of 96.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Princeton University Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.,  1997

Revision Description

Run through PULFA 2.0 normalization routines. 2012-05-02T15:15:44.245-04:00

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[Digital Version]

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Phillips Exeter Academy Class of 1903.
  • Princeton University -- Administration.
  • Princeton University. Class of 1907.
  • Princeton University Employees.
  • Princeton University. Triangle Club.
  • Princeton University -- Students -- Societies, etc. -- 20th century.
  • Administrative records.
  • Business records.
  • Correspondence.
  • Financial records.
Personal Name(s)
  • Bunn, Benjamin Franklin, 1875-1971.
  • Darrow, Whitney.
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940.
  • Lee, Ivy, 1909-
  • Associations, institutions, etc. -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 20th century.
  • College students -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- Societies, etc. -- 20th century.
  • Princeton University

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1931-1963. 3 folders.

Scope and Contents

This series contains letters, memoranda, press clippings, and notes to and from classmates, family members and friends. The series also contains monthly newsletters (1943-1946) from J.K. Lasser, accountant, with information and news on the war-time economy.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent's last name and chronologically therein. A separate folder containing only congratulatory letters sent to Bunn upon his retirement ends the series. These letters represent only a sampling of letters which were sent to Bunn, as most were discarded.

Correspondence, A-L, 1921-1963. 1 folder.

Correspondence, M-Z, 1921-1963. 1 folder.

Correspondence, Retirement letters, 1963. 1 folder.

Series 2: Organizations, 1919-1962. 3 boxes (1 partial).

Scope and Contents

This series contains correspondence, memoranda, financial materials, minutes, bylaws and constitutions, newspaper clippings, photographs, publications, and other materials from the many organizations with which Bunn was involved. Organizations represented include the Princeton Class of 1907, Bric-a-Brac, Committee of Supervision,  The Daily Princetonian,  Nassau Sovereign, Phillips Exeter Academy,  Princeton Tiger, Triangle Club, Princeton Summer Theater, and Princeton University Band.

The material related to the Princeton Class of 1907 and Phillips Exeter Academy primarily documents reunions and includes correspondence with classmates. The Committee of Supervision materials documents the activities of the committee's supervision of many Princeton clubs such as the Committees of the Faculty, Freshman Committee of the Orange Key, Princeton Radio Society, Princeton Tiger Orchestra, Model Senate Association, American Whig-Cliosophic Society, Nassau Sunday News, Freshman Orientation, Graduate Council Committee, New Jersey Forensic League of Secondary Schools, Princeton Broadcasting Service, Committee of Non-Athletic Organizations, Princeton Roundtable,  The Nassau Literary Magazine, Princeton Print Club, Princeton Athlete, and the Hun School.

The Daily Princetonian records contain extensive correspondence with trustees including Ivy Lee Jr., Robert C. McNamara, Whitney Darrow and Julius Ochs Adler; minutes of trustee meetings; reports to the Board of Trustees; financial reports, constitutions, by-laws and papers of incorporation.

The Triangle Club records contain reports of the Special Committee to Study the Problems of the McCarter Theater and the Triangle Club (1950), as well as letters from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Brooks Bowman, Bretaigne Windcrest, and other people from stage and screen concerning suggestions for a new director. The Princeton Summer Theater records contain correspondence with directors Herbert Kenwith and Harold Kennedy, among others.

Other University clubs represented in this collection include the Princeton University Orchestra, the Undergraduate Schools Committee, the Law Club of Princeton, the Undergraduate Motion Picture Committee, the Hill Club, the Dance Committee, the Undergraduate Debating Committee, the Graduate Council of the Princeton Alumni Association, the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, the University Club, the Nassau Club, the Princeton Terrace Club, the Glee Club, the Senior Prom and the Undergraduate Activities Committee.

Non-University organizations and clubs represented in this collection include the Westminster Choir College, the Edgerstoune School, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Municipal Improvement Inc., Synod of New Jersey, and Princeton Old Guard.

A small number of photographs of the Music Shop (which was part of University Bookstore) from 1921 and a later period are found along with a notebook of handwritten budgets and expense and receipt statements for many clubs. The notebook includes financial information not found in the other club records. Ephemera include sports medals and a card with a proposed seal of Mayor, Princeton N.J. (n.d).


Arranged alphabetically by name of organization and chronologically therein. A separate folder containing a notebook and ephemera relating to various organizations with which Bunn was involved ends the series.

Bric-a-Brac, 1921-1951. 1 folder.

Class of 1907, Reunions, 1930-1939. 1 folder.

Class of 1907, Reunions, 1940-1949. 1 folder.

Class of 1907, Reunions, 1950-1959. 1 folder.

Class of 1907, Minutes of Trustee meetings, 1933-1948. 1 folder.

Class of 1907, Obituaries, 1946-1949. 1 folder.

Committee of Supervision, 1936-1950. 1 folder.

Daily Princetonian, annual reports, 1952-1955. 1 folder.

Daily Princetonian, constitution, 1939. 1 folder.

Daily Princetonian, correspondence, 1937-1959. 1 folder.

Daily Princetonian, financial reports, 1938-1958. 1 folder.

Daily Princetonian, minutes, 1938-1958. 1 folder.

Daily Princetonian, officers, staff, 1942-1958. 1 folder.

Nassau Sovereign, 1937-1942. 1 folder.

Phillips Exeter Academy, reunions, 1931-1938. 1 folder.

Phillips Exeter Academy, reunions, 1940-1963. 1 folder.

Princeton Summer Theater, 1947-1953. 1 folder.

Princeton Tiger, 1949-1961. 1 folder.

Triangle Club, 1937-1960. 1 folder.

Princeton University Band, 1938-1951. 1 folder.

Princeton University Store, 1958. 1 folder.

Miscellaneous University Associations, 1919-1937. 1 folder.

Miscellaneous Non-Princeton Associations, 1942-1951. 1 folder.

Notebook and Ephemera, 1924-1940. 1 folder.