Libraries & Collections at Rutgers: Special Collections and University Archives: Sinclair New Jersey Collection:
Collection Development Statement: Sinclair New Jersey Materials
To collect, preserve and make available for research, primary and secondary materials in various formats documenting all aspects of New Jersey’s history and culture.
While the purpose of the collection is to support teaching and research, security, preservation and conservation of the materials are of major concern.
Description (estimated size)
Treatment of Subject
Goal is to be comprehensive for all New Jersey topics; subjects include State, county & local history, genealogy, folklore, religion, business, government, labor, law, economics, education, architecture, archaeology, literature, medicine, agriculture, technology, bibliography, political science, ethnic studies, gender studies, art, science, anthropology, poetry.
Types & Formats
Manuscripts, including personal correspondence, institutional & organizational records, diaries, some government agency records, business and labor records, books and pamphlets, both cataloged and uncataloged, broadsides, maps, pictorial items, periodicals, some 18th and 19th century NJ newspapers, NJ almanacs, trade catalogs, printed ephemera, audio and video tapes, diskettes, microfilm, microfiche, buttons, badges.
Chronological, Geographical and Language Parameters
Collections cover New Jersey’s history from settlement (17th century promotional tracts & broadsides) to the present; all geographic areas of the State are included; the majority of the items are in English, with some Dutch, German, Yiddish, Spanish, Portuguese & Swedish.
Criteria for Inclusion/Exclusion
Included: Printed or manuscript materials relating to New Jersey; all pre-1851 material printed in NJ, regardless of subject; all pre-1851 NJ State documents.
Excluded: Recent municipal, State of NJ and federal publications, with several exceptions; current legal textbooks, hornbooks and tax treatises; artifacts, with few exceptions; literary manuscripts unless part of larger collections; recent limited editions from New Jersey fine presses, unless their content or title relates to New Jersey; non-NJ titles from commercial or university presses based in New Jersey; current NJ newspapers; commercially available microfilm titles; Rutgers University publications which do not relate to NJ; most Rutgers dissertations, graduate & undergraduate honors papers, unless topics are NJ-related; most current publications from other NJ colleges & universities, including yearbooks, newspapers, catalogs and serials.
Strengths: Comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the history & culture of central New Jersey, especially Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer & Monmouth Counties; statewide coverage of women’s history, labor and business issues, social welfare agencies and publications, religious institutions, genealogy, education, politics, fiction set in New Jersey, publications of historical societies Statewide; the diary and almanac collections are among the largest in the country for NJ; the NJ broadside collections includes numerous unique images; the cataloged Sinclair New Jersey Collection is the largest body of materials of its kind in existence.
Weaknesses: Southern NJ counties and Northwestern counties; monographs, pamphlets and periodicals issued by local groups in limited runs; broadsides and ephemera reflect the demographics of the staff; cataloging backlogs exist for books, pamphlets, and various categories of collection level records, rendering them inaccessible.
Close ties are maintained with other repositories around the State, including archives, museums, public libraries, historical societies and genealogical groups; resources are shared through exchange of finding aids, duplicate materials, cooperative bibliographic projects and committee work; other Rutgers libraries forward publications from their locale to Special Collections and University Archives.
Bonita Craft Grant: New Jersey Bibliographer
May 6, 2002