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Rare Special Collections' NJ history publications, now on your computer

Thanks to the efforts of a tech-savvy librarian and her summer intern, researchers looking into topics related to early New Jersey history can now read hundreds of authoritative publications right on their computer.

The Rutgers University Libraries' Special Collections and Digital Projects Metadata Librarian Melissa De Fino noticed in the spring that a new online collection of publications, the HathiTrust Digital Library, contained full-text versions of close to 300 rare and valuable items in Rutgers Special Collections. She worked with a summer intern from Rutgers' Masters in Library Science program, Christina Ma, to add links in the Rutgers University Libraries' online catalog to each of the items in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Now researchers need not travel to the Special Collections and University Archives reading room in Alexander Library to read one of these hundreds of noteworthy publications. Special Collections items in the HathiTrust Digital Library include such treasures as:

The Autobiography of Col. Aaron Ogden [A lieutenant in the 1st New Jersey Regiment, in the American Revolutionary war]
Written by Aaron Ogden, published 1893

Fifty years of service to agriculture; being a brief history of the New Jersey state agricultural experiment station, 1880-1930
Published by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, 1930

From canoe to tunnel; a sketch of the history of transportation between Jersey City and New York, 1661-1909
Published by the Jersey City Public Library, 1909

History of Atlantic City, New Jersey
Written by A.L. English, published 1884

History of Middlesex County, New Jersey, 1664-1920: volumes 1 and 2
Written by John P. Wall, published 1921

New Jersey as a colony and as a state, one of the original thirteen, volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4
written by Francis Bazley Lee, published 1903

Mayflower Pilgrim descendants in Cape May County, New Jersey; memorial of the three hundredth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock
written by Paul Sturtevant Howe, published 1921.

Report of the Prison inquiry commission, volumes 1 and 2
published by the New Jersey Prison Inquiry Commission, 1917.

An unwritten account of a spy of Washington
Written by John Van Dyke, published 1892

To review the full list of Special Collections documents in the HathiTrust Digital Library that are now accessible, via the Libraries catalog, please see this PDF list of titles.

The HathiTrust is a partnership with a number of consortia and other research institutions including the University of California, Princeton University, New York University and Penn State. One unique feature of this digital library is that users of the HathiTrust may create their own mini-library by bookmarking various holdings. Once a collection has been named, it can either be made public for all to see or kept private.

Posted July 7, 2011