The Sinclair New Jersey Collection is the largest, most comprehensive collection of New Jersey materials in the state and one of the finest collections of state and local history in the country. The approximately 70,000 monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and serials in the collection cover broad subject areas. A vast number of topics are represented, including state, county and municipal history, genealogy, religion, business and industry, labor, education, architeture, literature, medicine, agriculture, science and technology, political science, ethnic studies, gender studies, art, music, and bibliography. Due to its breadth and depth, the collection is an indispensable resource for research on any aspect of New Jersey, past or present.
Named for Donald Arleigh Sinclair, curator emeritus of Special Collections, the Sinclair New Jersey Collection is non-circulating. Much of the collection is represented in QuickSearch, in part as the result of retroactive conversion grants from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State.
Finding materials in the Sinclair New Jersey Collection
Collections with finding aids
The following groups of New Jersey materials are primarily accessed through online finding aids. This list is continually being updated as collections are processed and finding aids are created:
- New Brunswick Music Scene Archive, 1981-present
- New Brunswick Vertical File, 1801-present, bulk 1935-1960
- New Jersey Beer Collection, 2016-present
- New Jersey Cookbook Collection, 1902-2006 (bulk 1930-2002)
- New Jersey Ephemera Collection, 1801-present, bulk 1935-1960
- New Jersey Group Portrait Collection, undated
- New Jersey Master Plans, 1931-2004 and undated
- New Jersey National Guard Collection, 1877-1940
- New Jersey Portrait Collection, undated
- New Jersey Postcard Collection, 1903-1989
- New Jersey Regional Zine Collection, 2013-present
- New Jersey Restaurant Menu Collection, 1873 - present, (bulk 1931-1986)
- New Jersey Sheet Music Collection, 1830-1989 and undated
- New Jersey Social and Political Action Collection, 2017-present
- New Jersey Trade and Manufacturers' Catalogs, 1848-2010
- Pike, Helen C. Helen-Chantal Pike Collection on Asbury Park, New Jersey, 1850-2007
- Song Sheet Collection, 1840-1890 and undated
A significant portion of the collection includes non-fiction, fiction set in New Jersey, poetry, rare books, pamphlets and periodicals that are cataloged individually and searchable in QuickSearch.
Portions of the Sinclair New Jersey Collection are uncataloged and do not appear in QuickSearch, including annual reports and some periodicals and pamphlets.
Many of the older periodicals and annual reports, often single or just several issues, are listed in two checklists that are no longer updated:
- A Checklist of New Jersey Periodicals in the Special Collections Department, Rutgers University (1982)
- A Union List of New Jersey Annual Publications in the Library Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society and Rutgers University (1977).
Checklists for other uncataloged collections are available by contacting Special Collections and University Archives as firstname.lastname@example.org or at the New Jersey Reading Room reference desk. As checklists are updated they are added to the list of finding aids on this page.
As noted in the Collection Development Policy Statement, the Sinclair Collection acquires recent printed government documents issued by the state of New Jersey only selectively. The principal collection of government publications held by the Rutgers University Libraries is divided between Alexander Library (on the first floor) and the Library of Science and Medicine (on the second floor). Items appearing in the Library Catalog in a DOCNJ sublocation are not housed in Special Collections and University Archives, but rather in one of these other two locations.
For further information contact: Special Collections & University Archives