Genealogy and Local History


Library Catalog New Jersey State Archives
Family Histories NJ Office of Vital Records
City Directories List of Professional Genealogists
Genealogy Electronic Resources


We have over 18,000 titles in the genealogy collection. The collection consists of commercially published books and microforms. None of our materials circulates outside the library. We offer onsite access to the commercial services HeritageQuest and Ancestry Library Edition. We subscribe to over 70 periodical titles specific to the genealogy field. The majority of the collection are guides, how-to books, census indexes, reference books for areas other than New Jersey, and is primarily organized by geography and ethnic group. In addition, we have the World War I Draft Registration for New Jersey. We have city directories for New Jersey locations, as well as other places in the United States. Sanborn maps of New Jersey are available on microfilm and online. Our family histories make up about one-third of our collection. Many of them have been published privately and in limited numbers. In addition to Ancestry and HeritageQuest, we have the microfilm for the New Jersey federal and state censuses, except for 1875.

The Library has microfilm copies of the major New Jersey newspapers and the New York Times.

New Jersey family reconstruction is best started on the local geographic level. The best place to start research in New Jersey is at the local public library. Most of the local libraries have organized some form of local history collection at their facilities. Check to see if the library has developed specialized indexes for people, places and events identified with the local area. Most would have some knowledge as to the names of the newspapers, past and present, serving the area. Many would have information about locating historical/genealogical clubs in the area. Most libraries reflect the name of the community, so check under the name of the local area for the library you need.

Original New Jersey records, Colonial records and vital statistics at least 100 years old are held at the State Archives. Birth, marriage and death records less than 100 years old may be obtained from the Office of Vital Statistics.


We encourage customers to visit the library and use the genealogy and local history collection onsite in order to make the most effective use of all resources. The reference staff will help visitors devise and outline search strategies; use catalogs, indexes, and research guides to identify pertinent library resources; locate and use items in the collection and various electronic services on the library’s website.

Reference staff respond to telephone, letter, and email requests that can be answered with quick lookups in genealogical resources available in the library. The requestor should provide the name to be searched and identify the resource to be used. All available resources are listed in the library catalog or on the library’s website. Relevant pages found during the search can be photocopied and mailed to the requestor for a fee.

Reference staff cannot undertake extensive historical or genealogical research such as solving problems of identification and lineage, searching genealogical resources not well indexed, or performing broad-based searches across multiple resources. A list of professional genealogists familiar with New Jersey records who may be able to perform some of these services is provided by the Genealogical Society of New Jersey on their website.

New Jersey Network Libraries may contact the State Library directly for full reference services.


New Jersey State Library – Level 4
185 West State St.
(mailing address: PO Box 520)
Trenton, NJ 08625

Click for directions and hours.


Telephone: 609-278-2640 ext. 103
Fax: 609-278-2647