The theme of this exhibition is music in town and gown and how the two are tied to together both physically and metaphorically by the Raritan River. It focuses on how a thriving musical scene developed in the small river and railroad city of New Brunswick in the late 19th century. It traces the early history of music at Rutgers University from the foundation of the Glee Club, one of the oldest and most prominent collegiate groups in the country to the incorporation of music into Rutgers' educational mission in the early 20th century, and the eventual shift from city venues and local performers to university spaces and student and faculty musicians.
Special Collections and University Archives of the Rutgers University Libraries (SC/UA) hold materials related to music in New Brunswick and at Rutgers University. This digital exhibition is designed to highlight these rich resources. It is based on the physical exhibition, On the Banks of the Raritan, which was on display in fall 2014. It features images of rare photographs, publications, sheet music, and diary entries written by New Brunswick citizens. Many, but not all, of the objects in the physical exhibition are included in the digital one.
The curator would like to thank Kalaivani Ananthan, Isaiah Beard, Flora Boros, Kathy Fleming, Mary Ann Koruth, Rhonda Marker, Sam McDonald, Yuhwei Ling, Tara Maharjan, Chad Mills, and Caryn Radick for their work designing and mounting this digital exhibition.