To mark the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) and emphasize the significant work of history organizations and programs across the state, we asked our FY2017 and FY2018 grant recipients to submit a short narrative and photos describing the impact of NJHC funding. Each week until the end of our fiscal year in June, we will post a spotlight featuring the responses of our grant recipients. Whether NJHC support contributed to general operating, a brand new exhibit, an engaging education program or the restoration of a historic object, it’s truly amazing to see what New Jersey history organizations, libraries, and individuals have to offer.
This week we spotlight Rutgers University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives!
Crawling toward the German line in search of a machine gun nest nine days before end of WWI, First Lieutenant Theodore “Theo” Rosen (1895-1940), 315th Infantry, 79th Division, found himself in the path of fire. One bullet rendered the Carmel native’s right arm useless; another tore through his left cheek, taking out 4 teeth. The 22-year-old lost the top of his left thumb, broke his left wrist, suffered 24 body and head wounds, and had his right arm amputated. Against all odds, the Rutgers College Class of 1916 alumnus survived with commendation for his “gallantry in action.”
Rosen’s story is drawn from the records of the Rutgers College War Service Bureau, which was founded to keep the Rutgers students, alumni, and staff in touch with one another as they served in WWI. NJHC’s project grant helped us digitize this collection of letters and postcards from members of the Rutgers community.
NJHC’s contribution to our general operating budget to Rutgers University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives helped support and prepare for the WWI centennial celebration. We commemorated this anniversary with the compilation of a comprehensive guide to all Rutgers WWI-related collections, a major exhibition “Heaven, Hell, or Hoboken!”: New Jersey in the Great War, with tours, visitor outreach, and public programs. We also participated alongside our NJHC colleagues in the development of the NJ World War I Centennial Commission website. Thanks NJHC for helping Rutgers to preserve and spotlight our collections and New Jersey’s long-forgotten contributions to our past.
For questions about NJHC Grantee Spotlights, please contact Greer Luce, Communications Officer, at 609-633-0776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is a state agency dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge and preservation of New Jersey history. Established by law in 1967, its work is founded on the fundamental belief that an understanding of our shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy.