Places & Spaces: Libraries & Centers: Special Collections and University Archives:

Other Printed Collections

Broadsides and Posters

Broadsides, dating from 1590 to the present, number approximately 23,000 items, including interfiled posters. Categories include New Jersey, New Jersey political, New Brunswick, United States (excluding New Jersey), and foreign. Within each category, the broadsides are arranged chronologically in two sequences: oversize and non-oversize. Ballads, political controversies, estate sales, patriotic celebrations, and theatrical performances are among the myriad subjects represented. The posters present in the collection include examples from both World War I and II, including posters gathered by E.H. Tepper and donated in her memory.

All of the broadsides and posters are stored in closed stacks and must be requested via call slips at the New Jersey Room reference desk.

Online checklists exist for portions of the collection:


In addition to newspapers, maps, and broadsides, Special Collections and University Archives maintains a separate collection of ephemera that encompasses a multitude of formats, such as bank notes, calenders, lottery tickets, menus, and watch papers. In some categories of the ephemera collection, the New Jersey examples are mixed together with those from other states; in other instances, the New Jersey materials are stored separately. A list of genre headings for the ephemera collection is available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. As the ephemera collection is stored in closed stacks, all items must be requested via call slips.

Online checklists exist for two categories in the collection:


Maps in the repository's collection depict all areas of the world through about 1920 and New Jersey throughout its history. Approximately 8,000 items, both printed and manuscript, comprise the collection. Among the highlights are a copy of the "Admiral's Map," which includes an early representation of the New World, and several dozen nineteenth-century wall maps of New Jersey cities and counties.

Incorporated into the map collection are a large number of maps donated by the estate of book dealer Montagu Hankin and several significant early maps donated by alumnus I. Robert Kriendler.

The repository's printed maps are arranged geographically. A checklist of printed, non-New Jersey maps is available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. These maps must be requested via call slips.

Many printed maps of New Jersey, its regions, counties and municipalities, including most maps acquired through 1980, are listed in Guide to New Jersey Maps in Special Collections and Archives (SNCLNJ GA195.N5C37 1986) available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. An abbreviated edition of the Guide to New Jersey Maps is also available. Unlike the repository's other maps, which must be paged, most of the ones listed in the Guide are directly accessible in two map cases in the New Jersey Room. Printed maps of New Jersey (of all dates) acquired from 1980 to 1994 are held in closed stacks; call slip requests for these uncataloged maps should specify a geographical area. Maps from 1995 and later, plus selected earlier ones, are cataloged in the Library Catalog; these, too, must be requested via call slips. Finally, a selection of large, nineteenth century maps of New Jersey regions, counties and municipalities, formerly in poor condition but now conserved, are listed in a finding aid available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. These items, which also must be requested by call slips, are frequently in the form of wall maps and may be viewed only one at a time.

Printed aerial views of New Jersey municipalities that also include street names are included in the map collection and not in the repository's pictorial collection. Approximately two dozen of the New Jersey aerial views held are originals; the numerous others in the collection consist of reduced photostatic reproductions of views held by other libraries. A checklist of the aerial views, which are also known as bird's eye views, is available at the New Jersey Room reference desk; use call slips to request these maps. For many of the aerial views, an online version is available from the Library of Congress.

Manuscript maps of New Jersey, which are frequently in the form of photostatic reproductions and not the original maps, are listed in a separate, geographically-arranged checklist available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. This larger list is supplemented by one describing reproductions of Revolutionary War era maps (maps drawn for General Sir Henry Clinton and maps drawn by Robert Erskine) and reproductions of various Colonial era maps. All of the manuscript maps are stored in closed stacks and must by requested via call slips.

To view selected maps from the repository's holdings online, consult the list of Sites Reproducing Special Collections and University Archives' Materials

Other collections of maps in the Rutgers University Libraries in New Brunswick and Piscataway are available in the Government Publications area of Alexander Library and at the Library of Science and Medicine.


The newspapers described in this section are contained in Special Collections and Univeristy Archives' Loose Newspaper Collection (Ac. 3193) and Bound Newspaper Collection (Ac. 9980), both of which consist of paper copies of newspapers. More information about them can be found below.

Please note that newspapers on microfilm (in sublocations FLMPER or XMCARD in the Library Catalog) are not held by Special Collections and University Archives. Inquiries regarding these newspapers should be directed by phone to the Alexander Library's reference desk (848-932-7509), or by e-mail through Rutgers University Libraries' Ask A Librarian service.

Special Collections and University Archives' newspaper holdings date chiefly from the eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. Over a thousand titles, published in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York City, form the bulk of the collection. Among the rarest titles represented is the New Jersey Freeman, an 1840s abolitionist newspaper. The repository also holds New Jersey's first newspaper, the manuscript Plain Dealer (1775-1776) issued at Bridgeton.

Most newspapers held by Special Collections and University Archives are stored offsite and require advance notice to consult; these titles can be identified by their call numbers, which begin with "Ac." A call number that begins with "Ac.3193" implies scattered issues from various years and not a significant run; a call number that begins with "Ac.9980" signifies one or more bound volumes. Contact the New Jersey Room reference desk at 848-932-7510, or e-mail Ronald Becker (, to determine which specific issues or years are available.

An essential guide for researchers using New Jersey newspapers is the Directory of New Jersey Newspapers, 1765-1970 by William C. Wright and Paul A. Stellhorn (New Jersey Historical Commission, 1977). This work groups newspaper titles by place, states the papers' dates of publication and title changes, and lists repositories holding each title. A copy of the Directory is available at the New Jersey Room reference desk.

Another, more up-to-date source for information about newspapers is OCLC's WorldCat, a national database available through any computer in the Rutgers library system.