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Special Collections and University Archives: African American History Resources

A guide to African American history resources held by Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives.


This guide to African American history resources in Special Collections and University Archives (SC/UA)  focuses primarily on manuscript and archival collections with finding aids, but also includes selected print materials, and serves as as a gateway to discovering additional resources in SC/UA. The guide will be updated and annotated as more resources become available.

Thank you to Kate McCarthy, graduate student in the MLIS program at Rutgers' School of Communication and Information, for her work on this guide.

Getting Started


The Rutgers Libraries catalog, known as QuickSearch, is the best place to begin your research for printed material (books, pamphlets, magazines & journals, newsletters, reports, surveys, newspapers, etc.) The QuickSearch search box can be found on the Special Collections & University Archives homepage and many other Rutgers Libraries pages. There are also detailed instruction for how to conduct a basic search on the SC/UA website under “How to search the library catalog." Once you conduct a broad keyword or subject search, you can limit your search to SC/UA or any other specific libraries by clicking on “Library” on the left side of the page, and selecting a specific library from the drop-down list. 

Special Collections & University Archives website

Under Research Tools and Resources, select Search Our Collections for information on the most comprehensive ways to search our holdings, including maps and printed New Jersey items, that are not necessarily findable through QuickSearch. You can also browse finding aids for the Sinclair New Jersey Collection (as well as manuscripts and other archival collections) at  Finding aids are simply detailed guides that allow researchers to get a sense of and locate materials in a collection of documents. They are used by special collections and archives globally as a standard way to create access to collections.


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