The New Jersey Room
is a collection of materials about New Jersey with an emphasis upon Jersey City and Hudson County. The collection includes both current and historical information and numbers about 20,000 volumes. In addition to books, the New Jersey Room has a complete collection of all published Jersey City/Hoboken city directories dating from 1849 to 1925; an index for the Jersey Journal for the years 1912-1954 and 1969 to the present, a picture collection of over 13,000 images, hundreds of historic and contemporary maps; over 150 periodicals; manuscript collections, and several thousand topical files.
While the New Jersey Room is the main resource of information on the history of Jersey City, many of our patrons come in search of information on local real estate, development, and business information. These collections are continually growing, as the economic climate of the city is constantly changing.
The historic collection includes books published about Jersey City, plus privately compiled volumes such as church histories. We have many books on other towns in Hudson County and throughout the state. The newspaper index and the city directories help those researching their family histories. The department’s rare map collection, which includes maps of the area dating to the early 18th century is extensive. Later maps and atlases are helpful in determining the age of houses in the city.
Please note that while everyone is welcome to use materials in the New Jersey Room, none of the materials can be checked out. Most materials, except for rare and fragile items may be photocopied. Patrons may digitally photograph an image or any other material, however, permission must be given in writing before proceeding.
The NJ Room staff can answer questions submitted by mail, phone, or email that inquire about holdings of the library. A quick look-up, requiring only a few moments, can be accommodated free of charge. Such questions as "Is Mr. XYZ listed in the 1918 city directory?" or "Where is PS # 14 located?" are the types that would fit in this category. If, however, your research requires a more in-depth investigation or the use of microfilm, and you cannot perform the research yourself, the NJ Room Staff can conduct the research for you. There will be a fee for such services effective April 15, 2003. Please download the form to request this service and submit it to the NJ Room.
Do you have an old yearbook you would like to donate to the NJ Room?
Cynthia Harris, manager of the NJ Room, has been developing the yearbook collection for the last 10 years, pursuing that maybe-so-not-elusive goal of obtaining a full collection, which is estimated at more than 1,150 from the roughly 19 public private and charter high schools that have taught Jersey City teens since the early 1900s.
Currently, there are over 650 yearbooks in this ever-growing collection for the NJ Room. Maybe you’d like to contribute yours?
A little background, from the June 27, 2011 article in The Jersey Journal, “Born in Jersey City, Harris credits her interest in yearbooks to her 25-year career as a Jersey City public school teacher. ‘They’re incredibly useful for genealogy,’ she said of the yearbooks.”
Cynthia Harris has decided to extend the reach of this yearbook search, including all of the communities of Hudson County with emphasis on North Hudson, so think of the NJ Room when doing your closet cleaning! All these books are being used to create – through the hard work of volunteers – a database of everyone who ever graduated in Hudson County. The list contains over 125,000 names and continues to grow. Perhaps you may even wish to volunteer to input the names into our databases.
The NJ Room is located on the 3rd Floor of the Main Library (472 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302 / 201-547-4503 /
"Explore the History of Dutch Immigrants in Jersey City"
Resources in the New Jersey Room for Genealogical Searches
The Sandra & Glenn D. Cunningham Foundation Scholarship
The Sandra and Glenn D. Cunningham Foundation (SGCF) is a not-for-profit organization created to positively impact the growth and advancement of Jersey City, New Jersey, by offering needed educational and training opportunities to the community. With the theme of Empowering Stars of Tomorrow, it focuses on providing both financial assistance and a one-on-one mentor relationship with positive roles models to promising high school students who may need help and encouragement in reaching their goals.
Applications are available to any high school senior (must be graduating in May/June 2009) in either Jersey City or Bayonne. The deadline for application is April 30. Further details are available on the Foundation's website at http://www.sandraglennfoundation.org/?page_id=7.
High school seniors who wish to apply may pick up an application at the Foundation's Headquarters at the Newport Center Mall or at the New Jersey Room of the Jersey City Free Public Library located at 472 Jersey Avenue.
Hudson County Genealogical Society
On Oct. 13, 2007 the Hudson County Genealogical Society was established to promote the study of the genealogy and history of Hudson County, NJ. The Society is working in partnership with the Jersey City Free Public Library, through the New Jersey Room, to index the obituaries that have appeared in the local newspapers. For more information and to learn about joining this Society, please check their website at http://www.hudsoncountynjgenealogy.org/.
Finding Aids to Manuscript and Archival Collections
The New Jersey Room has a number of manuscript collections – that is – collections of documents, letters, research material and related material amassed by individuals or organizations. In order to make the public aware of some of the things that cannot be catalogued as books, the staff of the New Jersey Room along with graduate students from the Library Schools of Rutgers University and Pratt Institute, are creating Finding Aids to facilitate use of these very important collections. Please take a look at the material contained in the William Richardson Papers and the First Jersey National Bank Papers. Access is available but an appointment is needed. More Finding Aids will be added as they are completed. The development of other aids is in process and includes the Audrey and Warren Zapp Papers (Liberty State Park), the Edmund Miller Papers, and more.
The Paul F. Franco Collection (1724-1975, bulk 1910-1971)