Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Link to Libraries homepage
Link to Libraries homepage
Rutgers University Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives: Environmental History Resources: Getting Started

A guide to materials held by Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives on the topic of New Jersey environmental history.

Overview and Getting Started

Welcome to the Special Collections and University Archives (SC/UA) research guide on New Jersey-focused environmental history resources. The guide focuses on collections in SC/UA, but includes selected material and information accessible throughout the wider Rutgers University Libraries.

Thank you to Ilya Slavutskiy, PhD candidate in the Rutgers Department of History, for his work on this guide.

Where to Begin


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.

Next Steps

In QuickSearch, look for the location and “sublocation.” For example:

  • Available at Special Collections & University Archives – Sinclair Envelope Size 1 

“Sinclair Envelope Size 1” indicates the specific sublocation—where the item is located within Special Collections. Essentially this will let you know if the item is in our reading room, where you can retrieve it from the open shelves yourself, or if you need the item to be paged from our closed stacks. In this case, see the staff member at our reference desk who can assist you in completing a call slip for the item, which will allow us to retrieve it for you. All material must be viewed in the reading room.

Sublocations you may encounter:

Sinclair New Jersey Collection: Likely a book, report, survey, newsletter, periodical. Item is self-serve in open stacks in reading room.

Sinclair New Jersey Envelope Size 1, 2, 3 or 4: Sinclair New Jersey Collection item, likely a pamphlet, brochure, etc. Request from closed stacks.

Sinclair Oversized: Oversized book, report, survey, newsletter, periodical. Request from closed stacks.

Sinclair Rare Books: Rare book with a New Jersey connection. Request from closed stacks.

Photographs & Newspapers

*Photographs: We have vast photo collections, one of which, New Jersey Views, is especially strong in New Brunswick images. An online guide is in-process; in the meantime please see the SC/UA website at

*Newspapers: Some are housed in Special Collections and University Archives and are searchable in QuickSearch. The majority of newspapers are held in Alexander Library's Microforms, located on the same floor as SC/UA. A microfilm reader/printer is currently located in the lobby of Alexander Library. For a comprehensive guide to newspapers see Rutgers Libraries' Newspaper Guide.

New Jersey Regional Studies Librarian and Head of Public Services

Christine Lutz's picture
Christine Lutz
Special Collections & University Archives
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Subjects:New Jerseyana

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers web sites to: or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback Form.