The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center
|Newark Public Library
|3rd Floor, Main Library
|5 Washington Street
||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday:
||10:30 am - 5:30 pm|
|Newark, NJ 07102
||10:30 am - 7:30 pm|
||*Saturday (June 20-Sept. 10)*
||11:00 am - 3:00 pm|
|fax: (973) 733-4867
We regret that due to staff shortages, the hours of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center have been reduced. If you are travelling from outside the Newark area or have extensive research to conduct, please contact the department by phone or email in advance of your visit to verify hours.
The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center is a research-level
collection of materials relating to New Jersey, Essex County and
Newark. It includes both historical and current information in
these formats: books, newspapers, documents, pictures and
The Newark Public Library announces the publication of Knowing Newark: Selected Star-Ledger Columns by Charles F. Cummings . This 112-page book features 31 columns about Newark written by noted librarian, historian, and author Charles F. Cummings. The book will be distributed for free at the Main Library and seven branch libraries throughout Newark's 350th anniversary year.
Knowing Newark: Selected Star-Ledger Columns by Charles F. Cummings is also available for order on Amazon.com. The 112-page book is available for $6.74 ($2.75 for the book + $3.99 shipping). The book will be available free of charge at any Newark Public Library location.
Your support of the Library's Robert Treat Endowment Fund helps to ensure that the New Jersey Information Center collections are enhanced and preserved in perpetuity. To learn more about giving, click here.
The Newark Public Library's Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center has received generous support from the New Jersey Historical Commission (a division of the Department
of State) in the form of an operating support grant.
About the Collection
The Book Collection:
The book collection includes a variety of popular as well as
scholarly items with theses and dissertations. A basic law
collection contains the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
and New Jersey Administrative Code, law reporters,
clippings, monographs, hearings and reports. The backbone of the
historical collection includes municipal, county, local and
regional histories covering all parts of the state. Enriching the
materials are bibliographies, an author and imprint collection,
fiction set in New Jersey, technical reports, flood reports and
cook books. There are 2500 maps historical and current, bound and
on film, and there is a large Sanborn map file along with
miscellaneous fire insurance atlases for Newark and nearby
The Division is the state center for telephone
directories from the beginning of the 20th century as well as a
rich 20th century depository of city directories for the entire
The Newspaper Collection:
There is some newspaper coverage for New Jersey from 1791 to the
present, with the bulk of the files found in the 20th century.
Copies may be made on the NJIC's reader/printers. The Newark
Evening News morgue file was added to the Division in the
early 1970s, and currently is being microfilmed. More than half
of the approximately 3 million clippings have already been filmed.
In addition, the Division's own Information Files
offer more than 4,000 folders from a variety of newspapers
statewide on historical as well as current topics. The file has
been added to for more than 50 years and is updated daily by the
Division's staff. The New Jersey Periodical Notes is a 6,000
card file index to information appearing in regional and local
new Jersey magazines and also is maintained by the staff.
The Document Collection:
The Document collection is composed of several groups of
materials mainly primary in nature, and including New Jersey
State, Newark, Essex, and quasi-official reports. The New Jersey
Information Center is part of the New Jersey document depository
system and since 1968 automatically receives all available state
publications. Newark and Essex reports are added as they are
received and several hundred quasi-official agencies are in the
collection. The United States Census from 1830 to 1920 as well as
the New Jersey State Census from 1855 until 1915 are found and
are heavily used by genealogists and family historians.
The Picture Collection:
The picture collection is divided into two parts. The
first consists of approximately 35,000 black and white separate
photographs or illustrations in books, indexed in the New
Jersey Illustration Index which has been maintained from WPA
days to the present. Included also are prints from the Fine Print
Collection, 19th century illustrations from various editions of Harper's,
Godey's Ladies Book and Frank Leslie's Magazine,
post cards and other interesting picture sources. Entire
groupings added to the picture collection include the John T.
Cunningham photographs, the Samuel Berg street studies of Newark
and the Jean-Rae Turner statewide and local photographs. The
second part of the picture collection was acquired as part of the
Newark News morgue approximately 800,000 black and white
images not only of New Jersey but also of worldwide interest.
This is stored off site and is available by appointment. Items
owned by the Library may be copied for publication subject to
institutional copy fees.
Archives, Manuscripts and Mementos:
New Jersey ephemera is one of the Division's most
unusual and interesting areas. It includes traditional papers
such as those of the Newark Eagles, library director John Cotton
Dana, the Newark Public Librariana Collection and several hundred
scrapbooks of agencies and/or individuals. Included for example
are the volumes on Newark's 250th anniversary celebration in 1916,
the Flanagan Scrapbooks on theatre and notebooks of the Griffith
Music Foundation. It also houses miscellaneous information
concerning past officials as well as varied memorabilia of
companies, invitations, business cards, bumper stickers, posters,
restaurant place mats and menus, seals, and buttons.
Indexes and Outside Activities:
Dissemination of local history is available through
indexes compiled by library staff. Samples include the NJ
Illustration Index (graphics), the NJ Periodical Notes
(magazines), the NJ Law Journal Index (biographical, 1971-1991), the NJ
Folklore Index (key to the Henry Beck files), the NJ
Lake Index (a WPA project), the NJ Author File (WPA
era through 1970s), the Newark News Indexes (1916-1970), and the current
Star-Ledger Index (on line), all available for patrons engaged in
research in the NJ Room.
Daniel Sutherland Anthony Papers
This collection consists of the administrative records and correspondence of Daniel S. Anthony pertaining to his work with the U.S. Department of War, the Muncie Community Discussion Council, and the Newark Human Rights Commission. 1942-1976
Banister Shoe Company Collection
This collection consists of records from the James A. Banister Shoe Company of Newark, NJ from 1890-1935, as well as research on the company from 2016.
Wilbur B. Driver Company Papers
This collection comprises various internal documents and photographs relating to the Wilbur B. Driver Company (“WBD”), a manufacturer and developer of heat-resistant metal alloy wires, ribbons, and other materials. Circa 1900-1920 to 1985
Ernest Erber Papers
This collection consists of the personal records of Ernest Erber, which were formed while he served in the capacity as director and/or member of the executive board of several planning organizations located in Northern New Jersey. 1949-1982
K.P. Galop Papers
Kathleen P. Galop was appointed by the County Executive Historic Preservation Officer and Acting Director of the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Much of the collection pertains to Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ, including materials related to The Newark Cherry Blossom Festival, Historic Register Nomination, Branch Brook Park Alliance, Essex County
Parks Department, and research used in Galop's co–authored book.
Pamela E. Goldstein Collection
This collection covers the first few terms of the Sharpe James mayoralty, 1986-2002. Materials were donated by Pamela E. Goldstein, the press spokeswoman for Mayor James.
Hellenic Heritage Collection
This collection consists of photographs, certificates, passports, clippings, and ephemera reflecting the Greek-American community of Newark, New Jersey during the 20th century. ca. 1906-2007
D.J. Henderson Collection
Dorland J. and Elizabeth (Betty) Henderson took an active interest in preservation, education, and the city of Newark. The collection reflects the breadth of the Hendersons' interests with materials on engineering, the preservation of their house, and many organizations with which they were involved.
Charles W. Holton Family Scrapbooks
The Charles W. Holton Family Scrapbooks contain photographs, narratives, and maps
documenting a 1936 trip to England and Sweden taken by the Holton family, of Essex Fells, New
Kurt Landsberger Collection
The bulk of the collection relates to the Save the Mountain organization which Landsberger founded in 1981. Included in the collection are minutes, correspondence, notes, membership lists, clippings and press releases, flyers, and reports.
Edward J. White Papers
Collection of financial records, photographs and personal correspondence of Edward J. White, an electrical contractor and his company, based in Newark, N.J. 1913-1958
The records of the Newark Public Library, known as Librariana, include manuscript and printed materials, photographs and graphics, and other materials. The bulk of it covers the years from its founding in 1889 to the present. It is arranged alphabetically for the most part.
• Librariana I: History
This small collection on the History of the Newark Public Library consists mostly of secondary articles and essay written by various staff members.
• Librariana II: Trustees
The papers of the Board of Trustees consist of by–laws, minutes (and other materials relating to its monthly meetings), correspondence, information on individual trustees, and other reports and documents.
• Librariana III: Reports
This collection of records consists of the published annual reports, as well as the director's reports, the assistant director's reports, the deputy director's reports, and the departmental reports.
• Librariana IV: Financial Records
These financial records consist of auditor's reports, budgets and budget reports, financial reports and statements, treasurer's reports, contracts, and information on bequests.
• Librariana V: Buildings
This collection of materials documents the activities that the Newark Public Library undertook to build, adapt, maintain, and otherwise take care of the physical places under its administration, including the Main Library on Washington Street and the various branches throughout the city.
Librariana VI: Administrative Papers of Directors
• Frank P. Hill Papers
Frank Pierce Hill was the first Director of the Newark Public Library. The collection consists of 11 boxes of reports, correspondence, and contracts.
• John Cotton Dana Papers
Dana was the Director of the Newark Public Library, a position he would hold until his death in 1929. The John Cotton Dana Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, printed material, etc...relating to the life and work of John Cotton Dana; to his interests in libraries, museums, fine printing, and education; and particularly to his work at the Newark Public Library and the Newark Museum.
• Beatrice Winser Papers
Collection of correspondence of Beatrice Winser, Librarian of the Newark Public Library 1929-1942.
• John Boynton Kaiser Papers
John Boynton Kaiser was the Director of the Newark Public Library from 1943 to 1958. The collection consists of biographical and bibliographical information, including the reproduction of some of his essays and articles, plus his monthly reports, mostly of a statistical nature.
• James E. ("Ned") Bryan Papers
James Edmund ("Ned") Bryan was the Assistant Director of the Newark Public Library from 1943 to 1958, and
the Director from 1958 to 1972. The collection documents Bryan's work as Assistant Director and then Director of the Newark Public Library from 1943 until 1972, along with his various activities in professional library associations and community
• Shein, Urban, and Alrutz Administrations (1972-1988)
These working papers cover relations with the American Library Association, the New Jersey Library Association, and other organizations; specialized library services and reports; public information; staff relations; and other topics relating to the operations of the Library.
• Librariana VII: Departmental Records
Many of these records are reports, but include acquisitions lists, statistics, press releases, and other such information.
• Librariana VIII: Staff
These materials relating to the staff are arranged in three series: 1) Staff Association; 2) Staff Notices; and 3) Staff Members.
• Librariana IX: Publications
This collection is arranged in the following four series: monographs, books, serials, and miscellaneous publications.
• Librariana X: Scrapbooks
Throughout its history, the staff of the Newark Public Library has put together scrapbooks documenting its activities. These scrapbooks contain program announcements, leaflets, brochures, booklists, newspaper clippings, etc.
• Librariana XI: Photographs
The collection consists of photographs of the Newark Public Library, including its buildings, branches,
departments, directors, staff members, trustees, patrons, programs, exhibits, etc...
• Charles F. Cummings Papers
The Charles F. Cummings Papers consist of drafts, notes, research files, administrative material,
correspondence, exhibit labels, photographs, etc. related to Cummings' work in the New Jersey
Information Center and other areas of the Newark Public Library; his writings, talks, tours, and
exhibits related to Newark history; and his interest in, and advocacy for, the City of Newark.
• Newark Library Association
Chartered in 1847, the Newark Library Association was a private organization, a subscription library, which required members to purchase shares of stock in order to utilize the collections. The collection includes a catalogue, register, and other items.
• Newark Museum Association Papers
The Newark Museum Association was founded by John Cotton Dana and other civic leaders in 1909. It grew out of a series of exhibitions on the fine arts, decorative arts, and natural sciences that were held on the 4th floor of the Newark Public Library from 1902 onward. For the first 17 years of its existence, it operated out of the Library; then in 1926 it moved into its new building at 49 Washington Street. This collection of materials consists of scrapbooks and publications.
• Frances E. W. Harper Literary Society
The Frances E. W. Harper Literary Society was founded in 1987 to provide intellectual stimulation to the citizens of Newark. This very small collection consists of general information, annual report, brochures, leaflets, programs, photocopies of photographs, and other miscellaneous items relating to the society and its activities.
Ankner, T. (2013). Libraries & Repositories: The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center at the Newark Public Library. GSNJ Newsletter, 22(1) 6–7.
Read about Newark's Literary Lights.(pdf)
Inventory of New Jersey Newspapers on Microfilm
of Selected Materials Relative to Genealogical Research
Full-text articles about the 1967 Newark Riots from the Newark Evening News, July 13 - 16, 1967
Other Online Resources
Newark History and Genealogy
New Jersey History and Genealogy