All manuscript collections are stored in closed stacks and must be requested via call slips. Some collections require advanced notice to consult, as they are stored offsite; a few are governed by use restrictions necessitated by privacy concerns or donor restrictions.
To identify manuscript collections held by Special Collections and University Archives, consult the Library Catalog. To look for manuscripts only, use the catalog's "Advanced" screen to enter relevant search terms and limit the results by selecting "Manuscript" from the options listed in the format column.
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 subject and genre guides detailed below. In addition, a printed 1964 repository guide that describes manuscripts is available; its entries include descriptions of some accessions that are too small to constitute separate collections.
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.
A number of subject and genre guides to the manuscript collections have been prepared over the years. Entries in the guides usually pertain to original personal and family papers or organizational records; however, descriptions of transcripts, reproductions and compilations are also included.
African Americans (1994 journal article)
Essay highlighting about two dozen collections with New Jersey connections; includes materials held in the Rutgers University Archives.
Agriculture (2008 booklet)
Guide, at the end of a larger bibliography, which describes approximately 70 collections; also includes selected materials held in the Rutgers University Archives.
American Literary Figures (1960 book)
Guide, entitled American Literary Manuscripts, that identifies quantities of authors' papers (e.g., letters sent, letters received and manuscripts of publications) held by various repositories, including Special Collections and University Archives; lacks detail about individual items. For the revised 1977 edition in book form, consult: SPCOL/UA / X-REF / Z6620.U5M6 1977
Civil War (2003 book)
Extensive, detailed guide that pertains to New Jersey and other Civil War holdings. The first part also includes transcriptions from the sources described; the second part does not. Request at New Jersey Room reference desk, or consult: SPCOL/UA / SINCLNJ / Z1313.S56 2003
Diaries and Journals (1980 pamphlet)
Descriptions of over 300 manuscripts from the 1740s to the 1950s; includes general diaries, as well as single subject diaries in the form of religious, travel, wartime and institutional journals.
Dutch Language (2017 handout)
Provisional list of manuscripts found in more than a dozen collections.
Labor History (1990 journal article) [Rutgers Restricted]
Essay referencing approximately 18 collections.
Medicine (1998 booklet)
Summaries of medical, pharmaceutical and health-related collections that pertain to New Jersey in some way; includes 55 entries.
Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Digital Scriptorium website)
Descriptions and images for 60 items (volumes, volume fragments and individual documents) that are included in a larger database of similar material; pertains to items from the 10th to the 16th centuries. To retrieve all items held by Special Collections and University Archives, enter only its location and name, via the pull-down menu, when making a search.
Newark-Related (Newark Archives Project website)
More than 160 descriptive entries included in a larger guide to "primary materials for all periods and all aspects of Newark history." This guide also references some printed materials and Rutgers University Archives collections.
Political Figures (1986 journal article)
Summaries of 22 collections of New Jersey politicians' papers that "include significant documentation of an individual's governmental or political activities."
Religious Organizations (1999 book)
Guide to records of religious organizations containing over 450 entries--sometimes more than one per organization--including descriptions of microfilm holdings. Request at New Jersey Room reference desk, or consult: SPCOL/UA / SNCLNJ / Z7757.N5G85 1999. This volume also may be purchased.
Revolutionary War (circa 1979 booklet; printed later)
Entries for about 285 individual items and collections, most of which pertain to New Jersey.
Science and Technology (1983 journal article)
Selected checklist of 13 collections of potential interest for the history of science and technology; included as an appendix to another text.
Women Artists (LibGuide)
Descriptions of over two dozen collections, in the Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists, which document women artists and artist organizations in the United States, primarily from 1945 to the present.
Women's History (2002 website)
Approximately 270 indexed entries for collections by or about women of varying backgrounds who engaged in a wide variety of pursuits; includes materials from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. An additional 29 entries describe collections held in the Rutgers University Archives.
World War I (2016 booklet)
Descriptions of approximately 33 collections, most involving New Jersey people or organizations; item-level checklists are frequently included. These descriptions are contained in a guide to World War I resources that also lists relevant printed and pictorial materials possessed by the repository, as well as collections held in the Rutgers University Archives.
Finding aids for many manuscript collections held by Special Collections and University Archives are available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. Finding aids also available online are listed here.
Alexander, Archibald Stevens, 1906-1979. Papers
A former high-level employee of the U.S. Army, Archibald S. Alexander (1906-1979) was also associated with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Arms Control Association and groups such as the Gateway National Recreation Area Advisory Commission.
Alexander, Robert J. (Robert Jackson), 1918-2010. Papers
A professor of economics at Rutgers University, Robert J. Alexander (1918-2010) conducted interdisciplinary research focused on Latin America, where he frequently traveled to conduct interviews, Spain (particularly the opposition to Franco) and international radical movements.
American Association of University Women. Pequannock Township Branch. Records
Organized in 1968, the Pequannock Township Branch of the A.A.U.W. studied community issues, lobbied for tougher standards in New Jersey schools and actively supported the Equal Rights Amendment.
Barboza-Clark, Frances, Guide to the Frances Barboza-Clark Papers, 1970-2002 (MC 1397)
Frances Barboza-Clark, medical technologist, feminist, and political activist, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. In 1970, she received a diploma from the College of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey - Rutgers University. She held various positions at UMDNJ until 1989. This collection of her personal papers documents her involvement in both national and local New Jersey political campaigns. Of particular interest is Barboza-Clark's handwritten 1984 convention diary, including her observations of political disagreements within the feminist contingent as well as her meeting notes from the Black Women's Political Caucus (later known as the National Black Women's Political Caucus) and the Black Women Delegates and Alternates Caucus.
Bernard Bush Collection on the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey
As documented in this assembled collection of source materials, the Ku Klux Klan, a secretive society with a philosophy of white Protestant nativism, gained its greatest following in New Jersey during the period from 1915 to 1946.
Bildner Family Kings Super Markets Collection
Containing both corporate records and personal papers, this collection documents Kings Super Markets, an innovative chain of upscale supermarkets in northern New Jersey, and the participation of Bildner family members in the grocery business, including Allen Bildner's three decades as the president of Kings.
Borough of Roosevelt Historical Collection
Noted for distinctive architecture and renowned as an artists' colony, Roosevelt, New Jersey, began its existence as a New Deal community of Jewish settlers supported by economic cooperatives in the form of farm operations, a factory and retail shops.
Brooks family. Papers
Residents of Bridgeton, New Jersey, the Brooks family included Enoch Brooks, a member of the Third New Jersey Cavalry during the Civil War, and his spouse Elizabeth S. Brooks.
Byrne, Brendan T., 1924-2018. Papers
An Army Air Forces navigator during World War II, Brendan T. Byrne subsequently became a lawyer and served successively as prosecutor for Essex County, as president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utility Commissioners, as a Superior Court judge and as governor of New Jersey.
Cahill, William T. (William Thomas), 1912-1996. Congressional papers
Although subsequently elected governor of New Jersey, lawyer William T. Cahill (1912-1996) also spent eleven years in Congress, January 1959-January 1970, as the U.S. Representative for successive districts composed of municipalities in Camden county and two adjacent counties.
Congregation Poile Zedek. Records
Formed by Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews, Congregation Poile Zedek was founded in 1901 and dedicated a large synagogue building in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1924.
Congregation Sharri Sholom. Records
A Conservative synagogue located in formerly rural South Brunswick Township, New Jersey, Congregation Sharri Sholom existed from 1942 until 1981 and counted the artist George Segal among its members.
Consumers League of New Jersey. Records
Founded in 1900 by middle-class women seeking to better working conditions for women and children through coordinated buying and nonpartisan legislation, the Consumers League of New Jersey later addressed issues relating to consumer protection, environmental pollution and national health insurance, while also continuing to focus on workplace concerns such as occupational health and safety, workers' compensation and minimum wage rates.
Consumers' Research, Inc. Records
Located for most of its existence in rural Washington, New Jersey, Consumers' Research, Inc., was the first American product testing organization to systematically document the reliability of twentieth century consumer goods.
Contemporary Women Artists Files
A reference collection that continues to grow, the Contemporary Women Artists Files documents the artwork and careers of over 1,500 American artists, especially individuals active since 1980.
Council for Human Services in New Jersey. Records
Formerly known as the New Jersey Welfare Council, the Council for Human Services in New Jersey provided a forum for social workers of varying backgrounds to research societal problems, to keep current with their field and to advocate for new laws and practices in social service and public health administration.
Detwiller, Charles H. Architectural papers
A preservation architect based in Plainfield, New Jersey, Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., documented and restored numerous historic structures in central and northern New Jersey.
Dyckman, Mary L. Papers
A retired social worker who served twelve years as president of the Consumers League of New Jersey, Mary L. Dyckman (1886-1984) was an advocate of government protections for workers, especially child laborers and migrant workers.
Free Acres Association Collection
Begun in 1910 as an isolated, single tax community based on principles of Henry George as interpreted by Bolton Hall, Free Acres, New Jersey, was at first a summer colony with active communal institutions, but later evolved into a distinctive suburban development with shared services, property restrictions and lands held in common.
Gallo, Dean Anderson, 1935-1994. Congressional papers
A New Jersey member of Congress from the Morris County region who served from 1985 to 1994, Republican Dean A. Gallo focused on concerns involving his legislative district, including the survival of Picatinny Arsenal, as well as on issues such as export opportunities for small business, health care reform, environmental protection and the plight of Soviet Refusniks.
Gaston family. Papers
Primarily residents of Somerville, New Jersey, who descended from William B. Gaston, the Gaston family included Elizabeth VanderVeer, a 1906 Vassar College graduate who served in France with the American Expeditionary Forces Y.M.C.A. during World War I.
Grant, Frances R. Papers
A cultural ambassador and human rights activist who focused on Latin America, Frances R. Grant (1896-1993) pursued her life's work through the Pan-American Women's Association, the International League for Human Rights and the Inter- American Association for Democracy and Freedom.
Hamoy, Carol. Papers
Raised in New York City as the child of immigrant parents, Carol Hamoy is an artist whose work has emphasized the use of fabric, clothes and lace in sculptures that explore women's history and that are sometimes inspired by her Jewish heritage.
Hughes, William J. (William John), 1932- Congressional papers
A member of Congress from 1975 through 1994 who represented the Second Congressional District in southern New Jersey, Democrat William J. Hughes advocated for anti-crime measures and copyright revision, as well as environmental protections, most notably as the champion of a successful ban on ocean dumping and as a contributor to the preservation of the Pinelands.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. President's Office. Records
Formed in 1949 to supplant an existing union deemed too radical, the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, as reflected in the records of its first president James B. Carey, advanced the cause of workers in the electrical industry and advocated fair employment practices.
International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine & Furniture Workers—Communication Workers of America. Local 401 (Edison, N.J.). Records
Chartered in 1952, IUE-CWA Local 401 represented employees at an appliance factory (ultimately known as Frigidaire Home Comfort Products) in Edison, New Jersey, until it closed in 2003.
Kenner, Valentin, 1911-1967. Papers
A native of the Ferrer Colony near Stelton, New Jersey, Valentin Kenner (1911-1967) served in the antifascist Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War.
League of Women Voters of New Jersey. Records
Founded in 1920, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey is a non-governmental organization which promotes non-partisan political education and responsible public policy.
Lenox, Incorporated. Records
A New Jersey-based firm for over a century, Lenox, Incorporated (known as the Ceramic Art Company from 1889 to 1906), became the leading domestic fine china manufacturer and developed a diversified line of products that also included giftware, collectibles and non-ceramic tableware.
Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Collection
Documentation formed around an ongoing exhibition series at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library, the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series collection pertains to the over 250 contemporary women artists whose work has been exhibited since 1971, as well as to the administration of the Series' exhibits and programs.
Maurer, John, 1905-1988. Papers
A New Jersey based optical engineer and inventor who held approximately 60 patents in the fields of sound optics, camera design and photographic chemistry, John Maurer specialized in aerial cameras and 16mm and 8mm film projectors and printers.
Modern School Collection
As an integral part of an anarchist community situated near Stelton, New Jersey, the Modern School provided an alternative education (encouraging students' creativity and self-reliance) based on the principles of Spaniard Francisco Ferrer.
Nakao, Michiko (Michi) 1934-1993. Papers
Michiko (Michi) Nakao was an editor and writer who greatly contributed to the Japanese community in New York. One topic of her work was on Sen Katayama, a founding member of both the American and Japanese Communist parties.
Nelson, Julius, 1858-1916. Papers
A fixture at Rutgers College and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station for almost three decades, professor Julius Nelson (1858-1916) focused on teaching biology, educating the public about health matters, researching oysters and disseminating his research findings.
New Jersey Federation of Business and Professional Women. Records
Begun as a network of local clubs in 1919 by middle class working women, the New Jersey Federation of Business and Professional Women has focused over time on addressing equity and workplace concerns, promoting personal and career development and advancing women's health issues.
New Jersey Folk Festival. Records
The New Jersey Folk Festival is an annual event held on the Douglass campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The festival is the culminating event of a Folk Festival Management class offered through the Rutgers American Studies Department.
New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI). Records
Believing in the need for an alternative institution to balance the inequities of male-dominated art schools and colleges, a group of women artists, educators, and administrators founded the New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI) in 1979. NYFAI sought to bring women of diverse experiences and backgrounds together to form a supportive community in which to create art.
Norton, Mary Teresa, 1875-1959. Papers
A Democrat from Jersey City, New Jersey, who served in the U.S. Congress from 1925 to 1951, Mary T. Norton headed the House Committee on the District of Columbia from 1932 to 1937 (thereby becoming known informally as the "Mayor of Washington") and the House Labor Committee from 1937 to 1946; she also served as the first woman to lead a U.S. political party's state committee.
O'Horgan, Tom. Theatrical papers
A musician, composer, actor and director associated early in his New York career with Off-Off-Broadway productions staged by LaMama ETC, Tom O´Horgan (1926-2009) received critical acclaim in the late 1960s and early 1970s by employing his “total theater” concept when directing the original Broadway productions of Hair, Lenny and Jesus Christ, Superstar!
Order of the Founders and Patriots of America. New Jersey Society. Records
Formed in April 1896, the New Jersey Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America is a patriotic organization for men with American lineages that include both an early seventeenth century settler and a Revolutionary War era ancestor who actively supported independence.
Pacific/Asian Coalition. New Jersey Chapter. Records
Through cultural programs, social activities and publications, together with workshops and seminars (on topics such as discrimination problems, equal opportunity laws and immigration issues), the New Jersey Chapter of the Pacific/Asian Coalition highlighted issues of concern to, and promoted the welfare of, the Asian and Pacific Islander community during the 1970s and 1980s.
Remington, Deborah. Papers
An abstract visual artist who created paintings and prints, Deborah Remington (1930-2010) began her career in California before moving in 1965 to New York City where her activities included teaching at Cooper Union.
Roebling, Mary G. (Mary Gindhart), 1905-1994. Papers
A resident of Trenton, New Jersey, Mary G. Roebling (1905-1994) was a banker, philanthropist and member of government councils whose successful career included a number of firsts, including becoming the first woman to head a major U.S. bank.
Schack, Paul A. (Paul Alexander), 1902-1985, collector. Paul A. Schack collection
A local historian who extensively documented South River, New Jersey, Paul A. Schack (1902-1985) was a manager with Macy's and the brother of Walter W. Schack, a World War II veteran who became South River's first mayor of Russian descent.
Sharp, Thelma Parkinson, 1898-1983. Papers
A graduate of Smith College, Thelma Parkinson Sharp (1898-1983) of Vineland, New Jersey, was a Democratic party activist and a 1930 candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Sisters in Crime. Records
Founded in part to document and combat gender-based discrimination in the field of publishing, Sisters in Crime has worked at the national and regional levels since 1987 to support and advance the interests of women authors of detective, crime and mystery fiction.
Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition. Records
Incorporated in 1997 as an outgrowth of a United Way project, the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition has worked to promote diversity and to fight bias, prejudice and bigotry by sponsoring newspaper articles, publications, a speakers bureau and public events.
Somerset County Multiple Listing Service. Records
Begun in 1964 by New Jersey's Somerset County Board of Realtors as a service for cooperating real estate offices, the Somerset County Multiple Listing Service described residences and vacant land for sale throughout Somerset County and in parts of adjacent Middlesex County.
Symington, John Alexander, collector. John Alexander Symington collection
Heavily focused on correspondence and other papers of George Borrow, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Theodore Watts-Dunton, Edmund Gosse, Thomas J. Wise, the Rossetti family and Clement K. Shorter, the John Alexander Symington collection also contains hundreds of handwritten letters and documents created or signed by artists, noblemen, politicians, authors (both women and men), editors, businesspeople and scientists, mostly from the British Isles, as well as related reference materials (including on the Brontë family) in the form of prints, pamphlets, clippings and typed transcripts.
Temple Beth El (Rutherford, N.J.). Records
Founded as the South Bergen Hebrew Institute of East Rutherford in 1919, Temple Beth El, a congregation of Conservative Jews, has been located in Rutherford since the early 1950s.
The Feminist Art Project. Collection
As a by-product of collaborative efforts to foster a feminist art community, The Feminist Art Project (or TFAP), an affiliated society of the College Art Association, has collected hundreds of announcements and other documents that pertain to twenty-first century exhibits and events relating to women artists and the feminist art movement.
Thompson, Ernest, 1907-1971. Papers
A union official who helped found the National Negro Labor Council, Ernest Thompson (1907-1971) was also a community activist who helped bring about political and economic gains for African Americans in Orange, New Jersey, and nearby communities.
Transatlantic Review. Records
Published from 1959 to 1977 by Joseph F. McCrindle, the Transatlantic Review was an admired literary magazine, focused primarily on fiction and poetry, which combined in its pages the works of talented emerging writers with those of established authors.
Voorhees, Tracy S. (Tracy Stebbins), 1890-1974. Papers
A protégé of Herbert Hoover who served in the U.S. Army Medical Department during World War II, attorney Tracy S. Voorhees spent many years in government service, including as a civilian official with the Army, as a member of federal government commissions and as a presidential representative for Hungarian and Cuban refugees; he also advocated for an expanded national defense capability through his activities with two citizens' groups.
Weyl, Walter E. (Walter Edward), 1873-1919. Papers
A founding editor of the New Republic, Walter E. Weyl (1873-1919) was a social economist and journalist whose writings included an analysis of the causes of World War I and impediments to its resolution; he also toured East Asia and gathered information for an unrealized book on Japan.
Williams, Harrison A. Papers
A U.S. Senator from New Jersey during the period 1959 to 1982, Democrat Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (1919-2001), worked to advance civil rights, to promote economic equity and security, to broaden educational opportunities, to expand mass transit options and to further environmental conservation.
Women's Project of New Jersey. Records
The Women's Project of New Jersey, Inc. (WPNJ) was a non-profit corporation organized in October 1984 that worked to promote "the understanding of the role of women in the history and culture of New Jersey."
For further information contact:
Special Collections and University Archives
Rutgers University Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163