Knowing Newark: Selected Star-Ledger Columns by Charles F. Cummings

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 available for order on 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.

The Library has also created a companion Knowing Newark website that will make all 500 of Cummings’ columns available for the first time. The first 100 columns are already online at and the rest will be added over the course of the year. Each column is illustrated and keyword searchable.

Featured in the Newark This Week section of the Star-Ledger from 1996 to 2005, Knowing Newark columns provided information on an astonishing variety of topics in Newark history, from the founding in 1666 to the present. There is no other resource on Newark as full of details or covering as many topics as Cummings’ columns, but they have never before been collected for use by students, teachers and the public. Funding for the book and the website comes from the Edison Properties Newark Foundation, Newark Celebration 350, the Newark History Society, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and individuals.

Charles F. Cummings was Newark Public Library’s Assistant Director for Special Collections and Statewide Outreach, joining the staff in 1963. Best known for his work as the Head of the Library’s New Jersey Information Center, which is now named for him, Cummings added substantially to the Center’s collections of Newark-related material, curated a number of history exhibitions, and was widely known as an authority on and advocate for Newark history.

Appointed City Historian in 1988, Cummings was a charter member of the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, and much sought after as a speaker and walking tour leader. He wrote and co-authored a number of books, including Remembering Essex: A Pictorial History of Essex County, Newark: The Golden Age, and History of Newark, New Jersey, 1666-2002. He taught Newark history as an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University-Newark.

Knowing Newark will draw attention to Newark’s rich and diverse history, providing information about the economic, political and cultural development of the city, and documenting the periods of conflict and resolution of key issues over Newark’s 350 year history. Newark Public Library is making available a resource that enhances and informs the anniversary celebration of 2016, and continues as a lasting resource in the years to come.

For more information about the publication and the website, please contact the staff of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, at 973-733-7775, or by email to