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Local History, Genealogy,
& Special Collections

Our Local History Collection, one of the largest in Union County, is composed of books, documents, photographs, blueprints, maps, newspapers, personal papers, and local organizations' records of significance in Plainfield and the surrounding communities. In addition to County and State histories, we have publications on the American Revolution and the Civil War. Our unique collections include Local Authors and Diversity Studies.

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Local History Info

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In Appreciation

The Local History Department is supported by funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State;
the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs; the Plainfield Foundation;
the Plainfield Cultural & Heritage Commission; the New Jersey Council for the Humanities; and the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library (FOPPL).

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COVID-19 ARCHIVE
ARCHIVO COVID-19

Share Your Experience With Us
Comparte tu experiencia con nosotros


artwork by Diego Licht

Do you live, work, or go to school in Plainfield? Contribute to the Library's COVID-19 Archive by helping us document life during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine.

 

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Collections
View Collections Index


collections
Our historical collections include Plainfield history, fine art, genealogy, diversity studies, oral history, personal papers & manuscripts, records of local organizations, Jerseyana, and United States history, as well as the original Library collection from the 1800’s. There is also an additional set of books on subjects that support our collections such as photography, art, architecture, and historic preservation.

 

Be sure to check out the Genealogy page!


The Local History, Genealogy and Special Collections
are held in closed stacks. Collection items do not circulate and may only be viewed in the Plainfield Room



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Publications
Some publications may take a few seconds to download.

*(Adobe PDF file - download Adobe for viewing)

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Help Support Us

Your financial donation can provide:

$10 to $25 Archival Document Cases and Cartons (various sizes)

Photograph Digitization

$30 Archival Photograph sleeves
$40 Archival Folders or Custom Boxes
$50 Archival Frame Kit or Book Purchase
$150 Archival Poster Frame Kit
$200 Purchase of an Historical Publication
$500 (towards) Historical document or ledger repair and conservation
$1,000 + (towards) Historical map repair conservation

 

 

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VIRTUAL PROGRAMS

The Same Principle Lives in Us: People of African Descent in the American Revolution
Saturday, January 23, 2021
10:30 am via Zoom

Presented by The Museum of the American Revolution (Philadelphia)
Co-hosted with the Historical Society of Plainfield /
Drake House Museum

American Revolutionaries struggled with a key question: would the words of the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal,” apply to all people? From the outbreak of the Revolution, people of African descent asked and answered this question through their words and actions. In this talk, hear the stories and explore the objects that the Museum uses to help imagine what the Revolution was like for Phillis Wheatley, Elizabeth Freeman, James Forten, Harry Washington, and others.

This is a FREE program.
REGISTER HERE

OTHER PROGRAMS

2021 Saturday Morning History Chats

2021 Department Program Series

Memoir Writing Club

Next meeting: January 14, 2021 at 10:30 am via Zoom

Library Genealogy Club

Check back soon for more programs in 2021!

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Digital Archive & Indexes
Search Image Collections

DigiArch

Our digital image collections are constantly growing, and are composed of over 55,000 photographs, postcards, and blueprints. All of these records are viewable online. In addition, patrons can now access Plainfield's historical city directories and the Plainfield's early newspapers online for free. Some of our special digital projects include:

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Reproduction Fees

B&W Photocopies 25 cents per page
Color Photocopies 50 cents per page
Digital Scans See Below*
Computer Printouts 25 cents per page
Microfilm Printouts 25 cents per page
Blueprints $5 per page (11" x 17")
Blueprints on DVD $25 per disc*

Certain items are too fragile to be photocopied or scanned. In some cases, the items may be photographed by Library staff and the images printed or saved to CD for patron use. Please see forms below for details about our specific policies regarding visual materials and documents.

Patrons unable to come into the Library may pay online via PayPal. We can no longer accept personal checks. Contact the Local History Department at 908-757-1111 x136 for more information.

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