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Re: Why are Princeton files called Princeton files? Fayad, Melissa H. 05 Dec 2002 22:19 UTC

I think that the term 'Princeton files' and it's variants are probably like the terms 'Kleenex' and 'Xerox', no longer brand names, but the terms that are used for the general product.
Melissa H. Fayad
Technical Services Assistant
University of Missouri-Columbia
Law Library
224 Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO  65211-4190

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-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Lester []
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: Why are Princeton files called Princeton files?

Thursday, December 5, 2002, 11:28:48 AM, you wrote:

HM> I was talking on the telephone to a retired cataloging librarian while I was browsing through my email and saw this.  By Princetons, you mean "magazine holders" for unbound issues, right?
HM> According to my friend, who retired in 1986 after a long career,  Princeton is a company name for the source of the Princetons.  She did not think that other libraries call them that, but our
HM> library called them that because we had to call them something.

I'm not 88 yet (gee, 28 years to go for that one), but in working in
seven state university libraries in seven states, since 1960, I've
always heard the metal boxes that hold pamphlets, loose issues of
journals, etc, called Princeton files.  Whether they're named after
the university or a company, I don't know.  But an indication that the
name is widely used can be seen by doing a search on the expression on
the web.  You get hits like:\

As far as I'm concerned, "princeton files" refers only to metal boxes,
and the ones made of cardboard or plastic are "pam boxes" or something
similar.  I've heard some folks use the term "princeton files" to also
refer to these containers.  To me, a princeton file is of metal, has a
metal bottom, two metal sides, and a metal back.  The top and front
are open. There may or may not be a label holder on the back. But if
others want to use the term more generically, I'm not going to get
excited about it.


Dan Lester, Data Wrangler 208-283-7711
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA  Stop Global Whining!