Reference Center - Newark Public Library

Reference Center


Newark Public Library
2nd Floor, Main Library
5 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 733-7779 or
(973) 733-7820
Fax: (973) 733-5648

CDL number for New Jersey librarians: 1539

About Us

The Reference Center provides information about all subjects, including antiques, architecture, biography, business, career information, composers and composing, dance, economics, education, entertainment, fine art and artists, genealogy, geography, government, graphic arts, history, languages, literature, the music business, music history and theory, mythology, philosophy, psychology, pure and applied sciences–including astronomy, automotive repair, biology, chemistry, health and medicine, home improvement, and mathematics—religion, social sciences, sports, technology and travel.

This division serves as the statewide reference center for libraries researching art, business, music, patents and trademarks, and U.S. government documents questions.

Separate from the Reference Center is the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, which collects books, manuscripts, dissertations, photographs, maps, albums, newspapers and other serial publications, directories, census records, genealogies, audiovisual media, realia, and other materials about New Jersey.

The Newark Public Library is a New Jersey State Documents Depository. Indexes to the collections are created by staff to answer questions of all kinds about Newark, Essex County, and New Jersey. The librarians’ web guides for Newark and for New Jersey provide links to useful Internet resources. Archival and contemporary, scholarly and popular, the Center serves as an information hub for librarians statewide.

The Library is designated as both a Patent and Trademark Resource Center and a Regional Depository for U.S. Government Publications. Provided are:

  • Patents and Trademarks: Information about the Patent and Trademark Collection, search guides, and links to the Patent and Trademark Office.
  • U.S. Government Publications: Information on the extensive Newark Public Library Regional Depository Collection and links to Internet sites from the federal government.


African-American Studies






Patents and Trademarks

U.S. Government Publications

Periodicals and Indexes

The Reference Center collection offers materials about the biographical and historical aspects of the African-American experience. Available for consultation are:

African American Culture and History
Black Biographical Dictionaries 1790-1950
Blacks in Selected Newspapers Censuses and Other Sources: An Index to Names and Subjects
Contemporary Black Biography
Encyclopedia Africana
Index to Black Periodicals
Kaiser Index to Black Resources
The Schomburg Clipping File

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

Art resources devoted to all time periods and places include auction and exhibit records, catalogues raisonnées, histories, biography, and criticism. The art information files feature exhibition catalogs, biographical clippings, and pamphlets. Among the significant titles in the extensive reference collection are:

Allgemeines Kunstler Lexicon
Art in Latin America
Benezit’s Dictionary of Artists
Davenport’s Art Reference and Price Guide
Grove’s The Dictionary of Art

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

The Reference center provides a wealth of biographical materials, including (but not limited to) nearly all of the volumes indexed in all editions of the Biography and Genealogy Master Index—a guide to biographical sketches in books and magazines.

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

The vast business collection encompasses current and historical materials of value to the entrepreneur, the stock holder, and the business researcher. Among the most noteworthy sources are:

Capital Changes Reporter, with financial history of securities.
Financial Stock Guide Service, with current listings of active and worthless securities.
Morningstar Mutual Funds provides ratings of mutual funds.
S&P’s Daily Stock Price Record: American (from 1972-present), New York (from 1961-present), and OTC (from 1968-present).
Trade and business directories.
Value Line reviews stock performance.

Retrospective Business Collections include:

Annual reports
Retrospective microfiche collection, 1961-1994 for selected companies on the New York and American Exchanges
Moody’s Dividend Record, 1959-present
Moody’s Manuals, complete series on microfiche:
Banking and Finance, 1928-present
Industrial, 1920-present
International, 1981-present
Municipal and Government, 1918-present
OTC, 1970-present
Public Utility, 1914-present
Transportation (formerly Railroad Manual), 1909-present
Unlisted OTC, 1986-present
National Stock Summary, 1922-present
New Jersey Industrial Directories, 1913-present
Scudder and Fisher Manual of Extinct or Worthless Securities, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1937-1976
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, 1912-present
Wall Street Journal microfilm, 1899-present

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

The literature section specializes in literary criticism for the traditional canon, as well as for the literature of diverse populations; the holdings are particularly strong for African-American authors. Also of note in the reference collection are the over 200 books of quotations and the 2,000 poetry anthologies. The anthologies represent most of the books indexed in all the editions of the Columbia-Granger Index to Poetry. Circulating materials supplement this vast collection, and several databases further enhance research.

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

For patrons looking for the words and music to songs, the Library offers, in addition to the traditional sources, its own “Song Collection Database,” an index to over 200,000 songs in the reference collection. Also in the circulating and reference collections are music scores for classical, folk, jazz, opera, and popular works, as well as librettos for operas and operettas. Available for loan are over 6,000 compact discs. The reference collection boasts such sources as: Contemporary Musicians, The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and the latest edition of The Grove Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians.

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

The Library is a designated U.S. Patent and Trademark Resource Center. Full text of utility patents from 1790 to the present are available. Design patents from 1908 to the present are also available. The collection also includes plant patents, the Official Gazette, the weekly announcement of new patents and trademarks, and a core collection of reference materials provided by the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program. Librarians assist searchers with the Classification and Search Support Information System database (CASSIS) on CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

As the Regional Depository for United States Government Publications, The Newark Public Library’s collection of these materials now numbers well over two million items: reports, hearings, federal laws and regulations, Supreme Court decisions, treaties, and other popular and scholarly documents. The collection includes finding aids to this significant body of information. Records of items published since 1976 are in the Library’s online catalog.

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.

The Library houses more than 1,000 popular and scholarly journals and newspapers, including significant nineteenth century American and British serials. Just a few noteworthy titles are:

The Afro-American, from its 1893 inception to date
American Statistics Index
Book Review Digest
Book Review Index
Cartoonists Profiles Index
CIS Annual Index
CQ Researcher
Education Index
Essay and General Literature Index
Facts on File
General Science Index
Humanities Index
New Jersey Architecture Index
The New York Amsterdam News, from its 1962 inception to date
The New York Times and its Index, from its 1851 inception to date (microfilm and database)
Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, including the Nineteenth Century volumes
Short Story Index
Social Sciences Index
Wall Street Journal from 1899 to date, its Index from 1958
The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900

Please refer also to the web guide for additional information.