Revision of Local History & Genealogy from September 24, 2012 - 7:20pm

The West Caldwell Public Library Local History & Genealogy Collection currently includes over 700 books, inaddition to manuscripts, The Progress on microfilm, New Jersey Montclair Directories, James Caldwell High School Yearbooks, maps, photographs, family histories, and vertical files. The materials in this collection do not circulate. The Local History & Genealogy room is open to during the Library's regular operating hours. West Caldwell Public Library makes no representation that it holds the copyright to unpublished materials in its collection.

The mission of the West Caldwell Public Library Local History & Genealogy program is to collect, preserve and make accessible, materials pertaining to the history of Essex County New Jersey, West Caldwell and in a more limited manner, the states of New Jersey and New York.

If you need help using the materials, please contact the Reference Department at 973-226-5441 or email Reference staff at wcalref@bccls.org.



HISTORY OF THE COLLECTION

The Local History & Genealogy Room was made possible in part, by the generous donation of Mr. Ron and Beth Day. Ron Day is a former West Caldwell Town Councilman, current President of the Friends of the West Caldwell Public Library and an active member of the West Caldwell Historical Society. Mrs. Day is also affiliated with the Friends of the West Caldwell Public Library. The majority of the printed materials available in the Local History & Genealogy Room are apart of a major donation by the Pryor Estate.

VISITING AND USE PROCEDURES

Because our materials are rare, out-of-print, fragile or irreplaceable, we have special visitation procedures that help preserve these resources. Upon arrival, we ask that visitors display a valid West Caldwell Public Library Card or other valid form of ID showing current address. All bags and coats will be locked in a secure locker. Reference staff will keep the key to the locker and patrons will return to the Reference Desk to retrieve their items. Only pencils and paper may be taken into the Local History & Genealogy Room. The Library reserves the right to inspect a patron’s personal property when leaving the Local History & Genealogy Room.

There is a limit of two people in the room at any given time. For a full explanation of the Local History & Genealogy Room policy please visit the Reference Desk. The Library makes no representation that it holds the copyright to unpublished materials in this collection.


RESEARCH

  • Ancestry Library Edition

The Library offers access to Ancestry Library Edition. Ancestry Library Edition has been provided with help from the West Caldwell Historical Society. It is only available in the Library's Local History & Genealogy Room. Please stop by the Reference Desk to request access. One hour instruction sessions for users new to Ancestry are offered by appointment only. To make an appointment please contact the Library at 973-226-5441 or stop by the Reference Desk.

The Historical New York Times is available to all from West Caldwell Public Library computers and to West Caldwell Public Library Card holders from home. Select Online Resources to access.

PRINT COLLECTION

Topics represented in the collection include, but are not limited to: Beginner’s Genealogy, Biographical Directories, Bibliographies, Census Records, Church Records, Family Records, Immigration and Military Records. The print collection is a non-circulating collection of over 700 cataloged volumes of historical works. These books are cataloged by author, title and subject and can be searched for via the West Caldwell Public Library’s online catalog. Materials focus on the history of West Essex County, Essex County and in a more limited manner, the state of New Jersey. The collection, consisting of books and periodicals, has primarily been developed through donations. The Progress (local newspaper) is kept on microfilm dating from 1882-2007.

VERTICAL FILES

The vertical files contain brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, and other printed material pertaining to Northern New Jersey people, organizations, places, history, and events. Files on a county, for example, typically include brochures pertaining to natural or historic sites, cultural events, and local businesses. Subject headings will be added as deemed necessary by library staff. West Caldwell Public Library will make an effort to update these files periodically. Access to these files may be requested at the Reference Desk. 

DONATIONS

If you would like to make a donation to the West Caldwell Public Library Local History & Genealogy Room, please contact the Reference Department at 973-226-5441. We will gladly accept donations that add to the quality of the collection and adhere to the Local History & Genealogy Room collection development policy. The suitability of donated items is solely determined by West Caldwell Public Library staff and administration. We cannot guarantee your donated item will be added to the Local History & Genealogy collection.


VETERAN'S ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

The West Caldwell Public Library Veterans Oral History Project began in 2004 as the World War II Veterans Oral History Project. The initial goal of this endeavor was to record and preserve the oral histories of World War II veterans from all branches of the United States military, living in West Caldwell and the West Essex region. Once transcribed, the recordings will become a part of the Library's Local History & Genealogy Collection. The tape recording of meetings officially ended in September 2009. However, the veterans group will continue to meet in the library at 2:00 PM on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more information, please contact the Reference Department at 973-226-5441. Access to the completed transcripts are available in the Local History & Genealogy Room.