About Special Collections and University Archives


Special Collections and University Archives collects, preserves, and makes available rare, unique, and specialized sources to support study and research on New Jersey, the history of Rutgers University, and other select subjects that support the mission and curriculum of the university and the needs of the people of New Jersey.


Special Collections and University Archives strives to be recognized as a major public research university repository, on par with Rutgers’ Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) peers, through collaborating with and providing leadership for special collections within Rutgers University Libraries and continuing to build and share unique holdings with the university community, the state of New Jersey, and beyond.


  1. Build the New Jersey collections and other collections that support the Rutgers curriculum, faculty research interests, and SC/UA’s areas of strength.
  2. Play a leadership role in special collections throughout Rutgers University Libraries.
  3. Implement innovative outreach and programming to reach a wide spectrum of users.
  4. Develop appropriate facilities, including expanded storage space and state-of-the-art preservation and processing areas.
  5. Make collections discoverable online through cataloging, the creation of online finding aids, and the creation of digital projects, often in collaboration with other Rutgers University Libraries units.
  6. Develop librarians and archivists who are leaders in the profession.


As a vital part of the mission of Special Collections and University Archives, the exhibition program is intended to enrich the cultural and intellectual life of the university by showcasing notable library acquisitions, prominent collections, and objects of historical or aesthetic distinction. While most exhibitions are drawn exclusively from library holdings, and are curated by members of the Special Collections and University Archives, the library unit does occasionally mount traveling exhibitions, borrow materials to perfect exhibitions of library holdings, and highlight appropriate materials in the possession of library faculty and Friends.

Special Collections and University Archives seeks and encourages the participation of Rutgers University academic and library faculty members in its exhibition program, and works with guest curators to assist them in producing exhibitions that are both scholarly and visually attractive. Whenever possible, Special Collections and University Archives also endeavors to coordinate its exhibitions with those mounted by other Library units.

Exhibitions are planned regularly to support the Rutgers University curriculum, explore the state's diverse cultures and feature the contributions to local history, library history, and the book arts, made by New Jersey residents. The involvement of community members is always welcome.