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

Service Information: Reference Services

General Information

Access to Special Collections and University Archives materials is provided in the New Jersey Room, located on the lower level of the Alexander Library. Reference services in the New Jersey Room are available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which correspond to the hours that the room is open. Saturday hours, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., are available during the fall and spring semesters.

The telephone number for the Special Collections and University Archives reference desk is 848-932-7510. Persons wishing to send reference questions by e-mail should direct their queries to Ronald Becker ( An appointment with a curator is recommended for patrons planning extensive research. Orientation sessions for classes and groups can also be arranged; consult Ronald Becker ( for additional information.

Special Collections and University Archives materials do not circulate and must be used in the New Jersey Room. Many of the collections are held in closed stacks. These materials may be retrieved until 4:45 p.m. each day. Some large collections and selected printed materials are stored offsite and require advance notice to consult.

Researchers are required to sign a patron log each day that they are in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room. In addition, persons visiting the New Jersey Room for the first time will be asked to register at the information desk located inside the room to the left of the entrance.

Lockers are provided, at no cost, and patrons are required to place brief cases, large bags, packages, umbrellas and similar materials in them, as well as to use the adjacent coat rack for their coats and hats. Additional information regarding the use of the New Jersey Room is contained in the Reading Room Rules.

Individuals consulting rare books, manuscripts and university records will be given an additional set of guidelines to both review and sign. Persons requesting these materials may be asked to sit at specified tables. Note that certain rare books, manuscripts, and university records may require the use of book cradles, which will be provided.

Laptop computers are permitted in the reading room, but patrons may be asked to store their laptop carrying case at the New Jersey Room reference desk.

A copy machine is provided in the reading room; however, the copying of research material may be restricted by the reference staff due to an item's fragility, size, or copyright status.

Cameras, both digital and traditional, are permitted in the New Jersey Room, but only for use in accordance with the library unit's Copyright and Reproduction Policy. In addition, a copy stand is available for (supervised) use by patrons. Note that flatbed and other scanning devices are not permitted in the reading room.

Other resources available on the lower level of Alexander Library include Imaging Services (formerly the Copy Center) where copy cards for use in Rutgers University Libraries photocopy machines are sold), the Current Periodicals and Microforms reading room (where microfilm collections and reader-printers are located), and rest rooms and water fountains (situated in the south wing at the edge of the atrium).

Parking, Restaurants, and Lodging

Parking is available in the vicinity of Alexander Library at meters on adjacent and nearby streets. Metered parking spaces on the ground level of the parking garage adjacent to Alexander Library are also available to library patrons. A Vistor's Parking Permit may be purchased from the Rutgers Department of Transportation Services for parking in the College Avenue Deck. Parking is not available in university lots near the library (where parking is by university permit only), nor is it available on nearby residential streets (where parking is by city permit only). Parking in Buccleuch Park, which is located near Alexander Library, is permitted by the city, but all signs regulating parking there should be strictly observed. At a greater distance, public parking is available in the Ferren Deck, opposite the New Brunswick Train Station, which is about a fifteen minute walk from Alexander Library.

Nearby options for lunch include a street level restaurant (Au Bon Pain) and a basement level foodcourt in the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue, which is within easy walking distance of Alexander Library. Other choices include two off-campus restaurants located behind opposite corners of the parking lots which extend across three blocks behind the Rutgers Student Center and adjacent campus buildings. Other restaurants are located farther away along Easton Avenue and in New Brunswick's central business district.

For persons visiting from out of town, a variety of lodging options are available along major highways in the vicinity of New Brunswick, including at exits off of Interstate 287 and along Route 1 and Route 18. The only commercial lodging in New Brunswick is at a Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is about a twenty minute walk from the Alexander Library. Another alternative in New Brunswick is the Rutgers-operated University Inn and Conference Center. This facility is located on the other side of New Brunswick from Alexander Library and is served by the (free) intercampus bus system.


For directions to Alexander Library, including public transportation options, follow the "Directions" links on the Special Collections and University Archives webpage.

To reach the New Jersey Room from Alexander Library's entrance, walk to the left into the Reference Reading Room and then proceed down the marble-framed staircase located to the right of Alexander Library's reference desk. Special Collections and University Archives is located at the bottom of the stairs. To reach the New Jersey Room, proceed through the double doors at the bottom of the stairs, which will take you into the Special Collections and University Archives Gallery. This Gallery is located in front of the New Jersey Room, which will now be visible ahead of you through an aluminum and glass wall.