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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.

Local History Info


View Collections Index

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


Some publications may take a few seconds to download.

*(Adobe PDF file - download Adobe for viewing)




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; and the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library.



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$500 (towards) Historical document or ledger repair and conservation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



Plainfield Celebrates 150 Years!

Genetic Genealogy For Beginners
Are you interested in researching your family history? Join the Tri-County Genealogy Club! On Saturday, April 6th at 10:30 am in the Anne Louise Davis room, we'll welcome special guest speaker Teresa Vega, who will discuss Genetic Genealogy and DNA testing for genealogists.

Memoir Writing Club
The next meeting of the Memoir Writing Club is Thursday, April 11th, at 10:30 am in room 8 (on the lower level).
This month's optional writing topic is "birth order." Are you one of our "oldest kids in the family?" How did your place in the family order affect your childhood? If anyone admits to having been spoiled as a kid, was it because of your place in birth order? Come to the April meeting and let us know.
Learn more here

You've Got Mail:
Letter Writing & Decorating
Celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month and join the letter-writing challenge! Wednesday, April 17th at 3pm in Room 2. This is a hands-on letter writing activity. Select from an assortment of fun stationery, then write and decorate your letter with us. Stationery, envelopes, pens, and decorations will be provided to attendees who stay to write their letter(s) with us. All you need to bring is an address. We will stamp and mail your letter(s) for you! This program is FREE and open to the public. All ages welcome! Registration requested.


Digital Archive & Indexes
Search Image Collections

DigiArchOur 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:


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.

*Please refer to Reproduction Fee & Use Form below.


For More Information

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