Sinclair New Jersey Collection

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 67,000 monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and serials in the collection cover broad subject areas. As noted in the Collection Development Policy Statement, topics represented include state, county and municipal history, genealogy, religion, business, government, law, education, literature, medicine, agriculture, technology 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.

A significant portion of the collection is shelved on open stacks in the New Jersey Room (sublocation SNCLNJ). The bulk of the cataloged pamphlets (SNCL sublocations ending in Y and Y2) are also available in the New Jersey Room. Folio books (sublocation SNCNJF), larger-sized cataloged pamphlets (sublocations SNCLY3 and SNCLY4), and rare books with a New Jersey connection (items with sublocations SNCLX and SNCLXF), are stored in the closed stacks as is the Richards Collection of fiction set in New Jersey (sublocation X-RICH). To retrieve books and pamphlets stored in closed stacks, submit a separate call slip for each item at the New Jersey Room reference desk.

Portions of the Sinclair New Jersey Collection are uncataloged and do not appear in QuickSearch, including some periodicals and annual reports. Many of these titles are represented by only isolated issues. Many of the older titles held are listed in two checklists available at the New Jersey Room reference desk: A Checklist of New Jersey Periodicals in the Special Collections Department, Rutgers University (1980) and A Union List of New Jersey Annual Publications in the Library Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society and Rutgers University (1977).

New Jersey pamphlets, grouped by subject, comprise another uncataloged component of the of the Sinclair New Jersey Collection. The list of subject headings used for these pamphlets is available at the New Jersey Room reference desk. Use a call slip to request pamphlets on specific topics.

While some items are cataloged individually in QuickSearch, the following groups of New Jersey materials are primarily accessed through online finding aids:

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 information about other printed formats held by the Special Collections and University Archives pertaining to New Jersey, view the descriptions of Broadsides and Ephemera, Newspapers, Maps.

For further information contact: Special Collections & University Archives