The Local History Room houses bound copies of the Bernardsville News (1932 through the current year), books by local authors, minutes of local governing bodies and boards, as well as books of local interest, i.e., Somerset County, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, and other towns in the Somerset Hills, as well as parts of Morris County. A file of photographs of local houses, scenes, and events, old and current, is constantly being added to. There is also an extensive collection of postcards (circa 1905) consisting of local and state views, as well as holiday cards, the nucleus of which was the collection of Edwin S. Spinning. A card file containing information on local marriages, engagements, and deaths is maintained. The vertical files contain information, articles, and clippings on local and state happenings and locations as well as biographical material.
Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and donations to Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library, the unique items in the Local History Room are properly preserved and available for public use.
Bernardsville Library’s History Committee, comprised of a very diligent group of volunteers, was recently honored at the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission’s awards ceremony. The History Committee received a History Award in Education, and the nomination noted that “Nowhere in Somerset County can one find a richer treasure trove of our history than Bernardsville Public Library where the volunteer History Committee has built an extraordinary collection of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, photographs, movies, clippings, maps, postcards, memorabilia and oral history which they continue to expand and enrich.”
The History Committee, known to us as Local History, maintains a multi-media collection of historical paraphernalia, including photographs, postcards, family histories, newspaper articles, old medicine bottles, crockery, and other treasures found in people’s attics and files. Inquiries are regularly received from people far and wide searching for information about ancestors, obituaries, Bernardsville history, or even famous local estates. Oftentimes items are donated to Local History by people who come across things by happenstance and want to ensure that they are preserved. Local History volunteers meet in the library twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, from 1-4 p.m. and are available to answer your questions or provide assistance during those hours. Volunteers will also be available on every first Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30pm.
Local History Resources