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 stated hours, or by appointment. To schedule an appointment fill out the Genealogy and Local History Research and Appointment Request Form. The filled form can either be e-mailed to or faxed to (908) 354-5845. You can also schedule an appointment by calling (908) 354-6060 x.7152.


For Remote Research requests, there is a $25.00 fee which includes up to one hour of research. Additional research will be billed at $25.00 per half hour. For more information or to request research, please fill out the Genealogy and Local History Research and Appointment Request Form.


Mondays & Thursdays



6:30-8:30 pm








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 1865-1971, complete with addresses, places of employment, and an occasional date of death.


Elizabeth City Directory Microfilm Holdings


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. For obituary searches, only prominent figures are listed in the index.


Elizabeth Daily Journal Microfilm Holdings


New Jersey Journal Microfilm Holdings


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 Revolution and Colonial Families of the United States of America are a few of the sources available. General genealogical resources are located outside the Local History Room and are accessible during all Main Library hours of operation. Genealogies of specific families and the Genealogy Vertical File are stored within the Local History Room and can be accessed during open hours or by making an appointment.

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, which are connected to  computers 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 U.S. news 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