The New Jersey Room is a collection of materials about New Jersey with an emphasis on Jersey City and Hudson County. The collection, numbering about 20,000 volumes, includes both current and historical information. 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. In most cases, patrons may digitally photograph an image or any other material upon receiving written permission from the New Jersey Room staff.
New Jersey Room staff can answer questions about holdings of the library submitted by mail, phone, or email. 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 P.S. #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, New Jersey Room Staff can conduct the research for you for a fee. Please complete and submit this form to request this service.
Do you have an old high school yearbook you would like to donate to the New Jersey Room?
New Jersey Room manager Cynthia Harris has been developing the high school yearbook collection for the last 16 years, pursuing a full collection estimated at more than 2,500 books from the public, private, and charter high schools that have taught Hudson County students since the early 1900s.
Currently, there are over 1,490 yearbooks in this ever-growing collection for the New Jersey Room. Maybe you’d like to contribute yours?
As Harris told the Jersey Journal in a June 27, 2011 article, the yearbooks are “incredibly useful for genealogy.” She attributes her interest in yearbooks to her 25-year career as a Jersey City public school teacher.
Since beginning the yearbook search with Jersey City, Harris has extended the scope of the search to include all Hudson County communities. The 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 200,000 names and continues to grow. Please let Ms. Harris know if you have a yearbook to donate, or if you would like to volunteer to input the names into our databases.
Main Library, Third Floor
Phone: (201) 547 - 4503
Library Director: Priscilla Gardner - (201) 547-4788
Unit Head: Cynthia Harris
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.