Containing original letters, diaries, sermons, literary manuscripts, organizational records, financial and legal records, and other documents, the Manuscript Collection (over 2,200 distinct collections containing more than 8,000,000 items) is especially strong and widely known for its documentation of all aspects of New Jersey history and society and New Jerseyans' response to national and international issues, 18th century to the present. Other strengths include 19th century Westerners in Japan, 19th and early 20th century British writers, the consumer movement in the United States, 20th century Latin American politics, society and Inter-American cooperation, 20th century labor unions in the United States, American business and technology, American social welfare and social policy, and women's history.

Anyone is welcome to use our manuscript collections by contacting us in advance of your visit ( Because they are unique and irreplaceable, all manuscript collections are stored in secure closed stacks, some of which are offsite.  A small number of collections are closed to all patrons due to privacy concerns or donor restrictions.

Searching the collections

Use QuickSearch to identify manuscript collections held by Special Collections and University Archives. To look for manuscripts only, use QuickSearch's "Advanced" screen to enter relevant search terms and limit the results by selecting "Archival Material" from the "Resource Type" options listed in the format column. We are in the process of migrating finding aids to ArchivesSpace.

Online catalog descriptions are supplemented by card files available in the New Jersey Room, such as an index to correspondents represented in selected collections, and by published subject and genre guides. Some collections have finding aids in paper form only. Contact us for assistance with these indices.

When conducting broader searches, for manuscripts that might be at Rutgers or that might be at other repositories, consult one of the following: WorldCat (on the "Advanced Search" screen, limit results by format to "Archival material"); the related portal ArchiveGrid; or the alternative search and display mode, for the same data, that is available through the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections portal.

Finding Aids (indexed in QuickSearch)

Published Subject Guides