SC/UA Migration Project: Seeking Higher Ground

In September 2021, Hurricane Ida severely impacted the University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SC/UA), home to the Sinclair New Jersey Collection, Manuscript Collection, Rare Book and Book Arts Collection, and Rutgers University Archives. As a result, we closed the New Jersey Reading Room on October 1, to allow library faculty and staff to work on flood recovery activities.  

As of October 15, we have temporarily suspended all reference services while we prepare to safely move our collections out of the affected spaces. Upon completion of the move, most collections will be accessible through remote reference and scanning services. We expect to be able to provide a small, onsite reading room for use by Rutgers students, faculty, and staff later in the semester. We must take these measures to ensure the long-term preservation of collections and to improve the storage and research environments.

Throughout this process, you can access portions of SC/UA’s materials online through the SC/UA Digital Resources Guide, at SC/UA Primary Source Highlights, and at the Rutgers University Libraries Digital Collections site. 

See the updates section below for the most current information on our services and resources. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or subscribe to our blog .

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to resume full services as quickly as we can . If you have questions, please contact us.


Progress continues on the migration, although slowed by Omicron, snow, and, today, a broken truck. While getting back up to full speed, we are developing our reopening plans. We also continue to publish more collections online. Today the New Jersey Newspaper Project Team completed the addition of several new newspaper titles to the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project:

We are making progress on the move! Remote reference service for digital material only is now available. Contact us for assistance. Librarians and staff continue to work offsite due to new Rutgers COVID Omicron precautions. At this time, we expect to return to working onsite and to resume fuller remote reference services in February. The move will still be underway at that time, so access to collections will be limited and our response time will be longer than usual. We continue to anticipate that we will be able to welcome Rutgers researchers back onsite in March 2022.


The phased reopening of SC/UA will begin January 10, 2022, with remote reference service for digital material only. Librarians will be working offsite due to new Rutgers COVID Omicron precautions through January 31, 2022. When restrictions are lifted and librarians return to working onsite (now planned for February), fuller remote reference services will resume. With the move still underway, access to collections will be limited and our response time will be longer than usual. The next phase will be to allow onsite Rutgers researchers, which by the mover's estimation will be in March 2022, using the Clifford Case room in Alexander Library as a temporary reading room.

The commercial mover has now moved 973 linear shelf feet of SC/UA manuscripts and rare books from the Alexander subbasement to off-site storage. They have also moved 70 filing cabinets that include printed material, photographs, and maps into the New Jersey Reading Room that will be available onsite when SC/UA reopens. Packing and moving will continue through December 22 and begin again in January.

The ​phased reopening of SC/UA will begin January 10, 2022, with remote reference service being provided through ​the Libraries' Ask a Librarian Service. ​Please be aware that the availability of research material will be limited and ​our response time will be longer than usual ​due to many collections being located off-site.  When the SC/UA move is complete, ​which by the mover's estimation will be in March ​2022, research visits for Rutgers patrons will resume by appointment-only.  The Clifford Case room in Alexander Library will be used as a temporary reading room for patron visits. 

On Monday, November 22, a commercial vendor will begin packing our rare books and manuscript collections. Frequently used material will be moved to dry stable Rutgers locations for ready access. Less frequently requested material will be sent to commercial offsite storage facilities.  Many of the offsite collections will be available to patrons when we reopen in January, with advanced notice.

A commercial vendor has been hired to move collections out of the recently flooded areas in Alexander library to safer storage spaces. The high-use collections, New Jersey Reading Room material, and a selection of rare books will remain on campus. Other collections will be moved to commercial space.  Moving is estimated to begin November 22 and be completed by December 24.