One of the original 13 colonies, and the scene of over 100 battles during the American Revolution, New Jersey holds a unique position in early American history. In more recent centuries, the state is known both as the bountiful "Garden State" and also as a gritty industrial hub where (notably in its capital) "Trenton Makes, the World Takes." This seemingly dichotomous identity has generated a unique perspective identifiable in the numerous inventions, "firsts," and cultural products of the state's residents.
The Library of Congress holds many resources from and about the state of New Jersey. Curated by the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, this guide provides resources with a particular focus on the history of printing in New Jersey, offering links to primary resources in a wide variety of formats, suggestions for relevant online databases, and tips for searching the Library's online catalog and other research guides.
The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 1 million items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815. The Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room is modeled after Philadelphia's Independence Hall. This room is home to the divisional catalogs, reference collection, and reference staff. Collections are stored in temperature and humidity controlled vaults.