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Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Frank Aydelotte records

Scope and Contents

The Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Frank Aydelotte recordscontain correspondence, memos, reports, and other documentation pertaining to Aydelotte's service as Institute Trustee and Director. Some of the materials date to his involvement as an Institute Trustee, rather than as Director. Some later materials from after his retirement are also included in the series.


  • Majority of material found within 1939-1947
  • 1927-1957

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are welcome to publish, reproduce, and use the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center’s holdings in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law. Under the Fair Use doctrine, users may freely reproduce materials for personal research, teaching, and/or scholarship. Under the same doctrine, users may cite or publish selected passages and/or quotations for comment and criticism. In accordance to U.S. Copyright Law, researchers seeking to reproduce and/or publish materials in the entirety and/or for commercial purposes will require the permission of the copyright holder.

The Institute for Advanced Study holds the copyright to materials generated by Institute employees over the course of their work for the Institute. Where the Institute for Advanced Study holds the copyright, researchers are free to reproduce materials for one-time, non-commercial purposes. For all other cases, researchers are responsible for contacting the Archives Center to request permission at: For all materials for which the Institute is not the copyright holder, researchers that choose to pursue publication and/or reproduction are responsible for determining the individual who does hold the copyright and requesting permission directly from that individual. Researchers with questions regarding the reproduction or use of archival materials can contact the Archives Center to request help at:

Biographical / Historical

Frank Aydelotte (1880-1956) served as one of the first Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1930 to 1939. After which point, founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Study Abraham Flexner approached Aydelotte directly and requested that Aydelotte serve as his successor. Aydelotte accepted the position and served as the second Director of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1939 to 1947.

Frank Aydelotte was born in Indiana in 1880. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Indiana University in 1900. He taught English at several institutions, including Vincennes University and Louisville Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He then earned an M.A. from Harvard University in 1903. He was named one of the first Rhodes Scholars in 1905, and studied at Oxford University from 1905 to 1907, earning a B.Litt. in 1908. He remained committed to the program's goals for the rest of his life, administering it from 1917 to 1953.

Aydelotte served as an Associate Professor of English at Indiana University beginning in 1908, then Professor of English at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology starting in 1915. He then accepted the presidency of Swarthmore College, a position he held from 1921 to 1940. Upon being named as Director of the Institute in 1939, he served as the head of both institutions until his Swarthmore successor was found. During his tenure at Swarthmore he founded the Honors Program.

As Institute Director, Aydelotte was involved in a number of important initiatives to strengthen the Institute. He oversaw the Institute for Advanced Study's move to Fuld Hall and adjustment to having its own campus. Since his tenure intersected with World War II, many initiatives were constrained or dictated by the delicate political circumstances of the time. He invited the Economics Section of the League of Nations to reside at in Fuld Hall in the years between its creation and the creation of the United Nations. He also approved the first Member housing project. He maintained good relations with Faculty, Trustees, and others in the Institute community, and his tenure is regarded as an important stabilizing link in the Institute's history.


3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Frank Aydelotte records consist of correspondence, reports, and administrative documention created and accumulated by former Institute for Advanced Study Director over the course of his affiliation with the Institute. The bulk of materials date from Aydelotte's time as both a Trustee (1930-1939) and a Director (1939-1947) with some materials predating and post-dating his affiliation.


Individual files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office staff transferred these files to the Historical Studies and Social Science Library after the Institute for Advanced Study Archival Policy was established in 1986.

Related Materials

Additional files relating to Frank Aydelotte's tenure as both a Trustee and Director can be found in the Institute for Advanced Study Board of Trustees records as well as the Institute for Advanced Study Director's Office records. General Files.

Processing Information

Upon receipt, archivists housed this material in acid-free containers for long-term storage and preservation.

Guide to the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Frank Aydelotte records
Christine Di Bella compiled this finding aid.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
This finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2022-01-13: Caitlin Rizzo revised this finding aid to comply with DACS standards and revised the record group title.