The Elizabeth Public Library

Local History Room


  Whether you are researching your family tree or an historic figure, our Local History Room, on the 3rd floor of our Main location, is a quiet space to pursue the past. To ensure the safety and preservation of our many unique items, access to the room is granted during the following hours:

Mondays & Thursdays



6:30-8:30 pm

Additional access is provided by appointment only. Please call908-354-6060 x. 7152 or email to schedule an appointment.


Elizabeth, New Jersey: Rich with history

The Elizabeth Public Library is your gateway to Elizabeth’s past, and it’s available to you in several ways. If you were wondering where you can go to begin discovering the history of Elizabeth, this is the place to start.



City Directories

Find the people that lived in our city from 1868- 1971, complete with addresses, places of employment, and an occasional date of death.


High school yearbooks

The library has yearbooks with some year gaps for Battin (1927-1974), Thomas Jefferson (1934-1972), Edison (1966-1987), and Elizabeth High School (1980-2004). We always welcome donations of yearbooks from Elizabeth schools that could help to fill the gaps in our collection. 


Elizabeth Daily Journal

Our collection includes the microfilm edition of The Elizabeth Daily Journal newspaper from 1871-1991 and a limited number of issues of its predecessor, The New Jersey Journal from 1779-1871. An indexed file covering the years 1915-1991 is an aid to research, and a noteworthy artifact in its own right.


Elizabeth Historical files

These files include articles arranged by date and subjects pertaining to local places, events, businesses and people.


Sanborn Maps

Our collection contains the 1927, 1951, and 1958 editions of the Elizabeth City maps.




Other items of interest


A few of the outstanding sources of local history you can find in the library are:


· Elizabeth by Jean Rae Turner

· Elizabeth: The First Capital by Jean Rae Turner

· The History of Elizabeth, New Jersey by Edwin F. Hatfield

· As We Were by Theodore Thayer

· Elizabeth Government and Ordinances, 1868-1938

· The Minutes of Elizabeth City Council, 1868-1985.

Genealogical resources
Our collection houses a selection of reference books that can be useful tools for researching your family roots. Titles such as American Genealogical Biographical Index, Lineage Book: Daughters of the American Revolutionand Colonial Families of the United States of America are a few of the sources available. Genealogical resources are located outside the Local History Room and are accessible during all Main Library hours of operation.

Microfilm collection
The library has back issues of several newspapers on microfilm: Elizabeth Daily Journal, Newark Evening News, New York Times, Newark Daily News, Star Ledger, and The Wall Street Journal. The collection also includes the New Jersey Census on microfilm for the years 1855-1915 and the US Census for 1830-1910. To view them we offer two reader/printers, one of which is connected to a computer for easy scanning and uploading to your email account. Microfilm materials are available during all library hours of operation. Please ask staff for assistance.



Celebrating the Anniversary
of our State and Region



Find obituaries and other content from local, regional, and national sources with


The New Jersey Digital Highway is your "one stop shop" for New Jersey history and culture, from the collections of NJ libraries, museums, archives and historical societies.




New Brunswick Public Library
Local History Genealogy Resources