Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center – Newark Public Library

Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center


Contact

Newark Public Library
5 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 733-7775
fax: (973) 733-4867
njreference@npl.org


Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday:
10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Wednesday:
10:30 am – 7:30 pm

Saturday:
9:30 am – 5:30 pm

The Newark Public Library received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

About the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center

Preserving New Jersey's History

The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center (New Jersey Room) 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 archives.

On January 18, 2006, The Newark Public Library’s New Jersey Information Center was renamed the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center.

Quick Links: Ask a QuestionRequest An Obituary | Genealogy Guide | Social Services Resources

Search Our Collection: Archives  | Books, Periodicals, & Misc. | Cataloged Photos (most are uncataloged)Digitized Materials (incl. Newark directories & maps) | Newspapers on MicrofilmStatewide city directories 

Follow CFCNJIC On Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


The Robert Treat Endowment

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. The fund was created in 2005 by Charles F. Cummings. To learn more about giving, click here.


Who Was Charles Cummings?

Mr. Cummings, Assistant Director of Special Collections and Statewide Outreach, passed away on December 21, 2005. He was a valued employee since joining The Newark Public Library on July 15, 1963, and was recognized as the Newark City Historian. Learn More.


Digital Collection

The Newark Public Library received a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to digitize a portion of its historical materials. Many collections are already available in our digital archive @ digital.npl.org
or read more about the project.


Knowing Newark

From 1996 through 2005, Charles Cummings wrote weekly Knowing Newark columns for The Star-Ledger. With the gracious support of The Star-Ledger and Newark Celebration 350, we are pleased to make all of the columns available in this keyword searchable website.

The Collection

Archives

Books / Yearbooks

Directories

Documents

Information Files

Maps

Newspapers & Periodicals

Online History Materials

Pictures

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, the Newark Public Library Archives (“Librariana”), and several hundred scrapbooks of agencies and/or individuals. Some examples of archives material are the records of Newark’s 250th anniversary celebration in 1916, the Flanagan Scrapbooks on theater, and notebooks of the Griffith Music Foundation. We also have collections dedicated to past mayors and other local officials, company records, and memorabilia including invitations, business cards, bumper stickers, posters, restaurant place mats and menus, seals, and buttons.

Many of our African American and Hispanic related archives, as well as some general Newark material are now digital at http://digital.npl.org!

Recent additions to our archives collections include the papers of former Star-Ledger editor Barbara J. Kukla, civil rights activist Robert Curvin, and magazine publisher Tiny Prince; as well as the records of the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, and the committee marking Newark’s 350th anniversary.

Click here to Search our Archival Collections

The book collection (searched via the catalog) includes a variety of popular as well as scholarly items, including theses and dissertations. 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, and fiction set in New Jersey. We are particularly strong in the 300s and 900s: social science and history. We also carry the New Jersey Statutes Annotated for people doing basic legal research.

Here is the index to the NJ  Author, and Imprint Collection  mainly a collection of books by NJ authors that are not primarily about NJ.

The CFCNJIC also has a small collection of yearbooks: Inventory of Yearbooks owned by CFCNJIC.

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF DIGITIZING YEARBOOKS. All Weequahic, East Side,  Barringer,  Arts, Science, Central,  South Side, West Side, Vailsburg, University, Technology and Shabazz yearbooks from 1950-1990 (sometimes through 2018) that were in possession of the school are now digital. Click here.

Click here to Search our Book & Periodical Collection

City directories through 1957 are now available on http://prestidigitation (click Explore Collections –> Newark City Directories).

The CFCNJIC has city directories in both print and microfilm for selected locations statewide, with an emphasis on northern New Jersey. In addition, we have a collection of New Jersey phone books on microfilm covering the years from 1908 to 1990. Hard copy Newark phone books back to 1972, and recent hard copy books for nearby areas, are kept in the Division.

Index of statewide city directories

Newark City Directories through 1957 (digital)

Please place requests for non-Newark directories at least two days before coming to the room, as these are kept in another area of the library. Requests can be made by e-mail or phone.

The CFCNJIC has Newark city, Essex County, and New Jersey state documents, as well as quasi-official documents from non-governmental agencies, including many community groups. The CFCNJIC, part of the New Jersey document depository system since 1968, automatically receives all non-legislative state publications. Newark and Essex County documents are added as they are received. We have documents from all city departments, including the Newark Housing Authority, the Central Planning Board, the Mayor’s Office, and the Board of Education.

Only certain recent documents appear in our catalog. A comprehensive search of documents must be done via a card file in the library.

A selection of city documents are digital at http://digital.npl.org.

CFCNJIC does not have vital records. See Genealogy Guide for information about obtaining these via city or state.

While the CFNJIC does have state censuses, there is no index to the records. They are by ward. It is easier to search for relatives via FamilySearch (1885, 1905, 1915) and then request the relevant images from a FamilySearch Family History Center.

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, see Index of Information (Clippings) Files. The file has been added to for more than 50 years and is updated daily by the Division’s staff.

We also have the Newark New’s own clipping files, an index to which is available here:
|A-C|D-H|I-New Jersey|Newark|Neway to Rogers| Roget-S|T-Z| (see: Newspapers tab for instructions for use)

Flat and folded maps

The Newark Library has now digitized the majority of its historical Newark maps, click here to see them.

The Newark Public Library has many historical Newark Maps. A full index of the library’s Newark maps is here and the majority have been digitized here.

The library also has many historical maps of New Jersey which are searchable via card file in the New Jersey room.

Sanborn Maps & Atlases

The library has  Sanborn maps for the state on microfilm (Index of Sanborn Maps, includes two lists, be sure to check both lists! Reels #13-24 and 41 are missing), along with other fire insurance atlases for Newark and Essex County in hard copy. We have city atlases from 1868, 1873, 1889, 1901, 1906, 1912 and 1926 that show every house (plus a county atlas from 1906 that only shows a small section of the city). All our Newark atlases have now been digitized, click below [the grey arrow in the top right hand corner of the image must be clicked to zoom in and out on images]  

Click here to View Digitized Newark Maps

Other online sources of maps

Newark maps from our collection have been digitized by NJIT here and here, including some atlases and Sanborn maps. The Newark Library in partnership with the Newark City Archives has digitized Newark’s historical ward maps. A limited collection of Sanborn maps of Newark and NJ is available online for free through Princeton University. If you have access through a university, library, or workplace Digital Sanborn Maps is generally the best way to access Sanborn maps. Other digitized NJ and Newark maps can be found through Rutgers digital collection.

 

Newark/NJ Public Notices

2015-Current: https://www.njpublicnotices.com/

2002-2015: http://www.publicnoticeads.com/nj/

Newspapers

There is some newspaper coverage for New Jersey from 1791 to the present, almost entirely on microfilm. We have daily newspapers for Newark beginning in 1832.  The biggest Newark papers are the Daily Advertiser (1832-1907), the Newark Evening News (1883-1972), and the Star-Ledger (1939-present). We also have several non-daily papers published in Newark, including the New Jersey Afro-American (1941-1988), the New Jersey Jewish News (1946-present), and the Italian Tribune (1934-present). Papers not published in Newark include the Jersey Journal (1957-2011) and Bergen Record (1962-2010). We have digitized several smaller newspapers.

Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm in the CFCNJIC

Search Paper Newspapers and Periodicals
NPL’s Digitized Newspapers
Statewide Digitized Newspapers

A partial list of periodicals (magazines, newsletters, etc, not microfilmed newspapers ) in our collection is found here and most periodical titles can be searched via our catalog. Articles in certain periodicals from 1950-2010, and some Newark material after 2010, can be searched in  our Periodical Index.

The Newark Evening News has not been digitized. The Star Ledger is available via GenealogyBank for a fee.

The public is able to print and e-mail scans of microfilmed articles or pages at the library. If you are unable to come in to the library submit your question here or obituary request here. A fee ($15 for up to three obits,  or 10 pages of copies, and 30 minutes research) will apply for out-of-state residents.

There is a limit of three (3) obituary, death notice, or article lookups per month per patron. For obit requests please include: date of death (if possible) and full name of deceased.

Places to look for a date of death:

If you have a project that requires more than 30 minutes research please see our Gateway Service fees. We also recommend using a professional researcher.

Finding Subject Clippings:

The Newark Evening News Clippings Archive contains 3 million articles on microfilm arranged by subject [Sample Page].

Browse the Newark Evening News Clippings Archive by letter:
|A-C|D-H|I-New Jersey|Newark|Neway to RogersRoget-S|T-Z|
To search the Clippings Archive, click Edit, Find and Replace (on the Google Drive interface) and type in your search term. The first column states the reel number (available in CFCNJIC, write this down if you plan to come into the room and view articles), the second column states the date of the earliest article (articles continue until 1972), the third column is the subject, the fourth column contains the number of articles, and the fifth column contains references. Press the back button to return to this page.

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, see Index of Information (Clippings) Files. The file has been added to for more than 50 years and is updated daily by the Division’s staff.

Finding Specific Articles:

For 1914-1972, the CFCNJIC has handwritten yearly indexes to the Newark Evening News (include articles by name and by subject, obituaries listed but not death notices), as well as the Newark Evening News Clippings file described above.

For 1945-1989  Star Ledger, GenealogyBank now has a searchable index. This is a paid subscription database.

For 1971-1982 the Cummings index to the Star Ledger 1971-1982 is searchable online (by subject, only includes large articles).

For 1983-1988 the Cummings index to the Star Ledger is searchable by card file in room (by subject, only includes large articles). A death notice index is also available.

For 1989-present, the Star Ledger is full-text searchable in the room (spotty for early years). A death notice index is also available through the early 2000s.

The New Jersey Periodical Index includes articles from regional and local new Jersey magazines from approximately 1950-2000.

Online Materials from NPL

The Newark Public Library now has a DIGITAL COLLECTION, click here to see digitized photos and documents.

Ankner, T. (2013). Libraries & Repositories: The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center at the Newark Public Library. GSNJ Newsletter, 22(1) 6–7.

Full-text articles about the 1967 Newark Riots from the Newark Evening News, July 13 – 16, 1967

Knowing Newark: Selected Star-Ledger Columns by Charles F. Cummings, features over 500+ columns written about Newark by noted librarian, historian, and author Charles F. Cummings and originally published in the Star-Ledger

LGBT Resources at CFCNJIC

Newark History and Genealogy Web Guide (First see: Genealogy Guide)

New Jersey History and Genealogy Web Guide (First see: Genealogy Guide)

Primary and Secondary Sources in the CFCNJIC by George Hawley

Read About Newark’s Literary Lights (pdf of original 2002 publication)

Read about Newark’s Literary Lights (pdf of the 2016 publication, updated for the 350th Anniversary of the Founding of the City of Newark, NJ)

Timeline of Ethnic Groups in Newark

NPL’s Youtube Account at youtube.com/NewarkPublicLibrary contains recordings out our historical programs, some programs co-sponsored by the Newark History Society can be found on their Youtube at youtube.com/NewarkHistorySocietyOrg .

The CFCNJIC owns hundreds of thousands of photographs. The vast majority of them are uncatalogued.

The catalogued picture collection consists of approximately 35,000 photographs and illustrations, mostly black and white, searchable in the library catalog. Included also is a large collection of color postcards. These onsite pictures only are searchable via the Illustration Index.

The uncatalogued pictures include the photo archives of two of New Jersey’s most important newspapers. The Newark Evening News photo archive contains approximately 800,000 black and white images of people and places in New Jersey and around the world, dating from the early 20th century until 1972. The photo archive of the Star-Ledger, contained in 36 filing cabinets and more than 200 boxes, spans the 1970s to the 1990s.

The library owns many other image collections, including the Al Henderson Collection of negatives, 38,000 mostly studio portrait images of African Americans taken in the mid-20th century 1950-1987. Here is an index to the Al Henderson photos. The indexed name is the person who ORDERED the photo.

All of these collections are stored off site and are available by appointment. Searches of these photos can be requested by e-mail or phone.

Additionally, the library owns a photo collection of many Newark streets (mostly Central Newark) during the 1960s. The Samuel Berg Photograph Collection has recently been digitized and is available here.

Several other collections of photos have also been digitized and are available at http://digital.npl.org.

Items owned by the Library may be copied for publication subject to institutional copy fees. The Star Ledger must approve requests for use of Star Ledger photos. Note that it is the patron’s responsibility to determine copyright of images.

Click here for information about publishing our photos or obtaining high resolution tiff files of photos.

Search cataloged photographs (majority are not cataloged)

For reference questions, research services, and to order copies, call the New Jersey Information Center at (973) 733-7775,  request an obit, or click here to contact us with a question.