The Society’s manuscript collection consists of approximately 1,700 manuscript groups totaling over 3,200 linear feet of material. Materials include diaries, ledgers, correspondence, family and personal papers, architectural drawings, church records, receipt books, business records, social welfare agency records, women’s organization materials, and other records. In the collection is the original charter from Charles II deeding the lands that became New Jersey. Another treasure is the first trans-Atlantic cable (1858). The Society holds the papers of Justice Joseph P. Bradley; activist Mary Philbrook; steamship and locomotive pioneer Colonel John Stevens; African-American civic leader, Anna Monroe; 19th-century obstetrician Dr. Marietta H. Crane Woodruff; and politicians such as Mahlon Dickerson, Maureen Odgen, and Walter Edge. Documents also relate to urban life, agriculture, slavery, military affairs, architecture, early health care, political movements and social life in the state.
To browse manuscript collections, go to Browse the Archives
Recently processed manuscript collections:
- MG 1156 Pluma Batten Papers, ca. 1940s-1950s
- MG 1683 Theron L. Marsh Papers, 1865-1996
- MG 1684 Kenneth Gibson Papers, 1955-1984
- MG 1685 Weymer J. Mills Collection, 1899-1923
- MG 1686 John A. Larter Civil War Papers, 1862-1899
- MG 1688 Doris Cohn Grossman Collection, ca. 1920-1939
The library’s vast photograph collection encompasses the entire state of New Jersey with images of parades and May Pole celebrations, pre-World War I business districts, the evolution of transportation (roads, canals, bridges, trains and airports), prominent people, African-American communities, scores of localities, immigrant communities, education, military events, recreation along the Jersey shore, the evolution of urban neighborhoods, and panoramic views of towns such as Newark and Atlantic City in the early 20th-century. The collection consists of approximately 100,000 images and is organized by subject. Included are glass plate negatives, matted prints, postcards, daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes, carte de visites, cabinet cards, slides, lantern slides, stereocards, and 19th-century photograph albums.
Searching for digitized images?
Visit the New Jersey Digital Highway for a sampling of some of the Historical Society’s photographic and manuscript collections.