Beginning with a reading room at The College of South Jersey (founded in 1926), the library at Rutgers–Camden has evolved through three buildings, countless library faculty and staff, and thousands of students and community members. The library has been the central campus space for research, programming, and more for the entire history of the Camden campus.
Campus librarian Beatrice MacCarter was instrumental in securing a dedicated library building for the campus, the first of which was built in 1951. In 1958, a new multi-story modern library opened on campus and In the 1960s, the needs of the campus continued to grow, and this time it was a new librarian, E. Parker Worley who campaigned to add a new building to the library. In 1969, the library expansion was completed, and it now serves as the main space for the Paul Robeson Library.
In 1969, the Black Student Unity Movement submitted a list of demands for the Rutgers–Camden campus. Included in their demands was the renaming of the campus library for actor, singer, activist and Rutgers alum Paul Robeson, who lived the final decade of his life in Philadelphia. In 1991, the library was renamed the Paul Robeson Library in a ceremony featuring the actor's son Paul Robeson, Jr.
The Paul Robeson Library supports all the undergraduate and graduate programs of Rutgers University– Camden, except law. In addition, through a contractual agreement, Paul Robeson Library provides library services for almost 2,500 students at the Camden campus of Camden County College/Rowan University. Located in Southern New Jersey, the campus of Rutgers University–Camden is across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and is within driving distance of the New Jersey shore and New York City.
The Robeson Library is designated as a federal depository for the First Congressional District of New Jersey as well as a state depository library for New Jersey and as such, we collect many relevant government publications. We are also the Camden County affiliate for the New Jersey State Data Center and maintain a collection of Census materials related to Camden County.