New Jersey Archives, Libraries, and Societies

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
NewJersey sil.png
the New Jersey Family History Research series.
History of New Jersey
New Jersey Vital Records
Census Records for New Jersey
Background Sources for New Jersey
New Jersey Maps
New Jersey Land Records
New Jersey Probate Records
New Jersey Court Records
New Jersey Tax Records
New Jersey Cemetery Records
New Jersey Church Records
New Jersey Military Records
New Jersey Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
New Jersey Archives, Libraries, and Societies
New Jersey Immigration
New Jersey Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of New Jersey
New Jersey County Resources
Map of New Jersey

New Jersey State Archives

225 W. State St.
P.O. Box 307
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

The New Jersey State Archives has many of the basic research materials for the state, such as federal and state census records; probate, land, tax, military, and court (including naturalization) records; newspapers; and vital records. Mail requests are accepted for some of the collections; a fee schedule is on the archives’ website. For more information, refer to the guide to its holdings (see Background Sources for New Jersey) and consult the archives’ online, browseable catalogue at

New Jersey State Library

State Library Bldg.
185 W. State St.
P.O. Box 520
Trenton, NJ 08625-0520

The New Jersey State Library has essentially the published complement to the New Jersey State Archives, including genealogies, histories, periodicals, guidebooks, maps, atlases, and indexes, with its book catalog searchable on its website. The library’s collection, however, is stronger for the southern and central parts of the state than for northern New Jersey. There are also newspaper clipping files, phone books, directories, and folders of material and correspondence arranged by family name, as well as microfilms of the federal and state censuses. The state library is one of the two depositories for the state’s DAR collection.

The New Jersey Historical Society

52 Park Place
Newark, NJ 07102-4302

The society’s library has an excellent collection of published material, microfilms of New Jersey federal and state censuses (1855–85), tax rates (and published index), and so forth. The New Jersey Historical Society houses much manuscript material, including maps; cemetery, church, and military records; family Bibles; land indentures; and genealogies, as well as thousands of other original documents and papers. The society’s quarterly, New Jersey History, was issued as Proceedings of The New Jersey Historical Society until 1967 (see New Jersey Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections). The society has also published a number of books on New Jersey history in a series of collections, many of which are mentioned in this chapter. See also Maude E. Johnson, “Genealogical-Index to Books, Pamphlets, MSS., Etc., in The New Jersey Historical Society Library,” in the Proceedings, New Series, 8 (1923): 81-88, and “Supplement,” 14 (1929): 129-44. A more modern guide to the society’s manuscript collection is listed under Manuscripts, and the library’s current director Chad Leinaweaver prepared “Genealogical Research at the New Jersey Historical Society” for Archival Anecdotes (publication of the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte National Archives in Pittsfield, Mass.) 8 (2003): 8-11.

Genealogical Society of New Jersey

P.O. Box 1291
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-1291

The Genealogical Society of New Jersey has published The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey since 1925. The society houses its collection of genealogical materials, such as cemetery transcriptions, family Bibles (over 5,700), military records, notes of genealogists, and so forth, in the A. S. Alexander Library at Rutgers University.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Rutgers University Libraries
169 College Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163

Perhaps the best collection of published New Jersey material, Rutgers also has a wealth of manuscripts, including the collections of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey, maps, cemetery records, and other genealogical collections, and is one of the two depositories for the state’s DAR collection.

Other Repositories

Many significant genealogical collections are elsewhere throughout the state, among which are the Gloucester County Historical Society, 17 Hunter St., Woodbury, NJ 08096-4605; the Monmouth County Historical Association, 70 Court St., Freehold, NJ 07728; and the Joint Free Library of Morristown and Morris Township, 1 Miller Rd., P.O. Box 267M, Morristown, NJ 07960

For a list of historical societies in New Jersey, see Historical Organizations in New Jersey: A Directory, by Mary Alice Quigley and others (Trenton, N.J.: League of Historical Societies of New Jersey, 2003), or New Jersey History Centers (Newark, N.J.: The New Jersey Historical Society, 2002).