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Collections at Gitenstein Library

TCNJ subject librarians are available for research consultations, instruction, curricular support and receiving recommendations for purchase.

Collections Policy


Archives and Special Collections

The Archives in the R. Barbara Gitenstein Library primarily document the college’s history, dating from its earliest days as the New Jersey State Normal School in the mid-1800s to the present. The Special Collections include early textbooks, early childhood classics, rare texts, and art books, among others.

The bulk of the college Archives are items that either originated at TCNJ or were donated by alumni. The types of items found here include annual reports, bulletins (course catalogs), faculty handbooks, college publications (including those produced by students), photographs and other film-based items, and alumni manuscript collections, to name a few.

The Archives collections also feature textiles, including original silk banners carried by early graduating classes. Some of the film-based materials include silent black-and-white films taken on this campus after the school moved from Trenton in the mid-1930s. There also are glass lantern slides, oral histories, and video recordings.

While not all the collections have been described in finding aids yet, researchers can explore many of the collections here: History of the College. The books in the Special Collections can be located using the search box on the library’s homepage.

The TCNJ Digital Archive is the online home of all items digitized from the Archives. This dynamic collection is continually growing and contains college publications as well as a small selection of photographs. For more information about the TCNJ Digital Archive, see

Access to materials stored in the Archives is restricted and requires an appointment.

For inquiries and assistance, please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Deb Schiff via Ask-A-Librarian.

Children’s / Young Adult Collection

This specialized area of over 29,000 titles contains many award winning fiction and non-fiction resources for young people from preschool age through senior high school. Included are reference materials for school age students including: folk tales, poetry, subject guides to picture books, bibliotherapy, selected summaries, review sources and encyclopedias.

A particular emphasis has been given to multicultural works including appropriate books and reference materials for many cultures. A recent focus has been the selection of major classic and award winning children’s / youth titles in both Spanish and English. Complete collections of four groups of award winning titles are available: the Newbery medal, the Caldecott medal, the Coretta Scott King award, and the Pura Belpre award. Other applicable awards are represented.

The Children’s / Young Adult Collection is located on Level 2.

For specific questions about the Children’s / Young Adult collection, please arrange an appointment with Reference Services .

Curriculum & K-12 Collections

The Curriculum Reference Collection contains several thousand curriculum guides on microfiche from the Kraus Curriculum Development Library. Behavior objective guides by subject, multiple titles in the series, Educators Guide to Free Materials, and Scope and Sequence charts are available as well.

The Elementary-High School Textbook Collection of teacher’s editions is organized by the Dewey Decimal system and color-coded in K-6 and 7-12 groups. Numerous publishers, formats and subjects are included. New K-12 textbooks may be charged out for one day. Older teachers’ editions of these textbooks may be checked out for three weeks.

Various 8.5″ x 11″study prints, many with a multicultural emphasis, may be charged out, as well as a picture collection of 8.5″ x 11″ picturesfor use in speeches and the classroom. A map and poster collection is also available for classroom use.

The Curriculum & K-12 Elementary-High School Texts Collections are located on Level 2.

For specific questions about the Curriculum & K-12 Elementary-High School Texts Collections, please arrange an appointment with Reference Services.

General Collection

The General Collection consists of more than 500,000 books that have been selected by faculty and subject specialist librarians to support course offerings of the college and to provide a broad representative collection of titles across many disciplines. This growing collection includes fiction, non-fiction, and children’s/youth books. Floor plans throughout the building guide readers to call number locations.

For specific questions about the General Collection, please contact the library’s Reference Desk through our Ask-A-Librarian services.

Music & Media

Gitenstein Library’s Music Collection includes over 10,000 volumes of printed music and more than 100,000 sound recordings in CD and streaming format. The print music (scores) collection is largely classical music, while the audio collections cover all genres of music, including classical, world, jazz, folk, and popular music. The Media Collection includes over 50,000 videos in VHS, DVD, and streaming formats, and is a rich research and pedagogical resource comprised of documentaries, feature films, educational videos. art films, foreign language films, and pedagogical films produced specifically for the classroom. Media equipment is located on the fourth floor of the library, including viewing stations with multi region DVD players, VHS equipment, CD players, and two media group study rooms that can accommodate 6-8 people.

For questions about the Music & Media Collection, please contact Linda Dempf, Music/Media Librarian.


The library has access to over 100,000 periodical titles, which are available in a variety of formats: online, print, and microfilm/microfiche. The periodicals collection includes the core titles of numerous disciplines and the coverage supports the curriculum. Subject specialist librarians are responsible for development and dynamic maintenance of the periodicals collection.

The most current print issues are located in the Current Periodicals section on Level 2. Back-runs of periodicals in print are located in the Bound Periodical stacks on the Lower Level. Back-runs of periodicals in microfilm/microfiche format are located on Level 4 of the Library.

For specific questions about the Periodicals Collection, please contact the library’s Reference Desk through our Ask-A-Librarian services.


The Reference Collection holds more than 17,000 volumes and includes general encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, atlases, and the like, as well as a large collection of subject specific reference works. A few examples of the wide range of subject specific reference books include The Anchor Bible Dictionary, West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, Ward’s Business Directory, The International Encyclopedia of Dance, The Oxford Companion to the Mind, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook, Contemporary Authors, and Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War.

Most reference books are shelved in the Reference Room on Level 1 of the library, with the exceptions of the following smaller reference collections. Music Reference is located on Level 4 of the library. Children’s/Youth Reference is located on Level 2 of the library.

The Reference Desk on Level 1 of the library is staffed by one or two professional librarians for nearly every hour the library is open. Ask the reference librarians for help with finding facts, devising a search strategy, selecting a database, or finding additional sources.

For specific questions about the Reference Collection, please contact the library’s Reference Desk through our Ask-A-Librarian services.


R. Barbara Gitenstein Library
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628


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