Home CalendarCatalog Search News FAQs Smart Pay
Local History Resources

Use our online catalog to search for published works on Elizabeth, Union County, and New Jersey. 

Microfilm Collection

The library has back issues of several newspapers on microfilm: Elizabeth Daily Monitor, Elizabethtown Gazette, Newark Evening News, New Jersey Journal, New York Times, and the Star Ledger.
The collection also includes the New Jersey Census on microfilm for the years 1855-1915, US Census of New Jersey for 1830-1910 and the Elizabeth City directories from 1865-1971.
To view them we offer two reader/printers.  Microfilm materials are available during all library hours of operation. Please ask staff for assistance.

City Directories

Find the people that lived in our city from 1865-1971, complete with addresses, places of employment, and an occasional date of death.

Elizabeth City Directory

Census on Microfilm

New Jersey State Census 

United States Census New Jersey 

Newspapers on Microfilm

Elizabeth Daily Journal and Predecessors

Our collection includes the microfilm edition of The Elizabeth Daily Journal newspaper from 1872-1991 and a limited number of issues of its predecessors, 
The New Jersey Journal from 1779-1871 and the Elizabeth-Town Gazette from 1818-1821. An indexed file covering the years 1915-1991 is an aid to research, and a noteworthy artifact in its own right.
The Elizabeth Daily Journal Index is a fully searchable index which covers the period, 1915-1991.  The index was produced and maintained by the librarians of the Elizabeth Public Library.
Each year covered by the index is arranged into three categories:   

● State of New Jersey newspaper article entries

● County of Union newspaper article entries

● City of Elizabeth newspaper article entries

For each of the categories listed, newspaper articles have been tagged to specific subject headings created by the librarians who produced and maintained the Elizabeth Daily Journal Index.
The subject headings have been arranged in alphabetical order in each of the categories listed. Examples of subject headings include accidents, buildings, crime, fires, and schools.
Depending on the number of articles indexed in a particular year for a subject heading, there may be more than one index card which covers that subject heading. Within each subject heading, newspaper article
entries contain the date the article was published, the page number entry or entries of the article, and the article title itself. For obituary searches, only prominent figures are listed in the index.

Elizabeth Daily Journal 

Elizabeth Daily Monitor

Elizabeth-Town Gazette

New Jersey Journal 

Newark Evening News

Star Ledger - Find information on topics related to community and state issues including business, education, politics and more. The Star Ledger microfilm collection covers January 1971 to December 2013.

Digital Newspaper Databases

The experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media.

The Elizabeth Daily Journal Digital database begins with the January 10, 1872 edition and is continuously updated as more issues are digitized.
Funding for the Elizabeth Daily Journal Digital database has been made possible in part by project grants from the New Jersey  Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, and through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks & Recreation. 

The experience and impact of Hispanic Americans as recorded by the news media, 1704 to today.

La Vida Hispana en América
La experiencia e impacto de los Hispano Américanos como ha sido escrita por los medios de comunicación del 1704 al presente.

Image result for ny times logo transparent
Obtain free and full digital access to The New York Times for 24 hours. Please use IE 11 or Firefox for access.
An Elizabeth Public Library card is required. 

Click HERE for in-house access.

Click HERE for 24 hours of full off-site access.

Explore Newark history through local news, events and people with the Star Ledger Collection. Search current and archived issues with
full-color newspaper pages, full-text articles and content only published online. Also available remotely 24/7 on any device.

The Union County Local Source was created by the merger of the Union Leader, The Observer, The Progress and The Eagle.
The database covers 2008-2018. Additional years will be added as they are digitized.


Vertical File Collection

The Vertical File was created by Elizabeth Public Library Reference staff and is comprised of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, postcards, and/or photographs that cover the history of Elizabeth, Union County, and New Jersey from the mid 1800’s through 2000. The majority of the collection comes from The Elizabeth Daily Journal, as well as gathered ephemera from various local organizations and institutions which highlight the history of the city of Elizabeth. The collection is stored in a file cabinet housed in the Elizabeth Local History Room of the Elizabeth Public Library. Access to this collection is available during the Local History Room’s open hours or through appointment.

Elizabeth Vertical File Subject Index

Union County and New Jersey Vertical File Subject Index

School Yearbooks

The library has yearbooks with some year gaps for Battin (1927-1974), Thomas Jefferson (1934-1972), Edison (1966-1987), Elizabeth High School (1980-2004), and St. Mary’s of the Assumption High School (1943-2019). We are currently in the process of cataloging yearbook collections from St. Genevieve’s School, Benedictine Academy, and a limited number of St. Patrick’s High School, Sacred Heart High School, and Pingry School yearbooks. We always welcome donations of yearbooks for Elizabeth schools that could help to fill the gaps in our collection. To donate a copy of an Elizabeth yearbook, contact the Local History Room at (908) 354-6060 x. 7220. Use our online catalog to view available yearbooks.

Sanborn Maps

Our collection contains the 1922-23 and 1951-58 editions of the Elizabeth City Sanborn Fire Insurance maps.

Additional Local History Resources


Princeton University Firestone Library
collection of Sanborn Insurance maps of Elizabeth

Rutgers University New Jersey Historical Maps Portal

Historical Societies

Historical Society of Elizabeth, New Jersey

Jewish Federation of Metrowest NJ: Jewish Historical Society

New Jersey Chapter ​of the ​Afro American Historical & Genealogical Society Inc.

The New Jersey Historical Society

Union County Historical Society

Digital Collections: Elizabeth Information

Elizabeth materials in the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

Elizabethtown materials in the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

Library of Congress Digital Collection
of items about Elizabeth, New Jersey


The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey
Information Center at Newark Public Library

James Brown African American Room of the Newark Public Library

Plainfield Public Library Local History Department

Rutgers University Special Collections and Archives

New Jersey Resources

New Jersey Digital Highway

New Jersey Hispanic Research & Information Center

New Jersey State Archives

New Jersey State Library Digital Jerseyana Collection

New Jersey State Library New Jersey Resources

New Jersey Women’s History

Property Research

New Jersey Historic Preservation Office

Union County Clerk’s Office Public Land Records