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377 ELKWOOD AVENUE
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ 07974
908-665-0311

Local History

This pathfinder to local history information about New Providence is organized by source. 

  • Online Sources are available for free online unless otherwise noted. 
  • Print Materials are resources in the library that can be accessed during library hours.
  • The New Providence Historical Society's Mason Room archives has its own hours. 

Online Sources

Newspapers 

The Dispatch of New Providence and Berkeley Heights, 1956-2004 with gaps, is available in PDF format, for in library use only. Please ask at the reference desk for assistance.

The Herald Dispatch (also known as the Summit Herald and Berkeley Heights-New Providence Dispatch) is available 2006-2007 in PDF format, for in library use only. Please ask at the reference desk for assistance.

The Independent Press is available in the New Providence Archives for the years 1966-67,1973, 1992-94, and 2006-2009, with gaps.  For the years 2006-2016, visit the Berkeley Heights Public Library in person to access Newsbank. For the years 1995-1997, 2000, 2002-2005, and 2008, check the Summit Library's digital collection.  Summit Library also has paper copies of the Independent Press. The Summit and Berkeley Heights editions of the Independent Press were not identical to the New Providence edition, but some stories overlapped.

The Newark Evening News (1883-1931), available through the Newark Public Library website, has some coverage of New Providence.

The Summit Herald often covered news of New Providence. A searchable version is available through the Summit Public Library website for the years 1896-1910, 1914-1932, 1935-36, 1938-1986, and 2004-2006.

The Summit Record also covered New Providence.  A searchable version is available through the Summit Public Library website for the years 1883,1889-1892, 1896, 1914, 1916, 1921, 1923.

Other Online Sources

HeritageQuest contains Census records up to 1950 for New Providence.  Log in with your library card's barcode number. 

New Providence Archives includes the New Providence Scrapbook Collection, a digitized collection of clippings, brochures and print materials that relate to New Providence or New Jersey history. This is in addition to The Independent Press (1966-67,1973,1990,1992-94, and 2006-2009, with gaps).

New Providence Historical Society posts on Facebook about various aspects of New Providence history.

New Providence Welcome Guide, a borough publication, has a few pages on New Providence's history.

Topographical maps from 1888 to the present, from the United States Geological Survey.

Turkey Tracks is the newsletter of the New Providence Historical Society and has facts about New Providence history.

Print Materials

For assistance finding any print materials, please ask at the reference desk. These materials may be viewed in the library during regular hours.  

New Providence History

Images of America: New Providence by Joan Gonczlik and Jane Coddington provides information about New Providence's history, as well as photographs.

The Founders of New Providence, New Jersey by Willis Johnson and This is New Providence, published in 1968 by the League of Women Voters, provide histories of New Providence. 

The New Providence High School yearbook, The Trailhas volumes dating back to 1960.  Ask staff to retrieve a yearbook for you from storage. 

Early History

What is now New Providence was formerly part of Springfield from 1794 until 1809, when New Providence Township was formed. See volume II of The History of Union County, New Jersey by Abraham Honeyman and chapter 26 of The History of Elizabeth, New Jersey by Edwin Hatfield (as Springfield was part of Elizabethtown before 1794).

In 1869, Summit seceded from New Providence Township. Family Records by John Littell, Summit, New Jersey by Edmund Raftis and Summit's Story by Robin Little are useful for New Providence history up to 1869.

In 1899, the Borough of New Providence split from New Providence Township (now known as Berkeley Heights). From the Passaiack to the Wach Unks, the history of Berkeley Heights edited by Helen Desmond, covers New Providence history up until 1899. 

Maps

Ask at the reference desk to see historical maps of New Providence and Union County. They date from 1938 to 2005.

Newspapers

The Dispatch/ the Herald-Dispatch is available in its original newspaper format from 1994-2007 with gaps. However, most patrons prefer to use the searchable, more extensive collection in digital format (see below). Ask at the reference desk.

The Dispatch of New Providence and Berkeley Heights, 1956-2004 with gaps, is available in digital (PDF) format for in library use only. Please ask at the reference desk for assistance.

The Herald Dispatch (also known as the Summit Herald and Berkeley Heights-New Providence Dispatch) is available 2006-2007 in PDF format, for in library use only. Please ask at the reference desk for assistance.

The Independent Press is available in its original newspaper format from 1997-2014 with gaps. Ask at the reference desk. 

Mason Room Archives

The Mason Room is located at the back of the library. It is open on Tuesdays 10 AM - 12 PM, and the second Saturday of the month, 11 AM - 1 PM, when members of the New Providence Historical Society are on hand to provide assistance. It is also available by appointment. Call (908) 665-1034, or email the Historical Society.

Mason Room vertical

Come inside and connect!

Welcome to your NEW New Providence Memorial Library!

If you haven't visited us lately, be sure to come in and experience all that has changed. Our new layout has something for everyone. Browse our new displays, choose your favorite spot to cozy up and read, or sit down to work. Explore our expanded catalog now that we're part of the MAIN Library Alliance. You can request materials in our online catalog from any member library to be delivered here for you to pickup, if we don't have what you need in house. 

We are thrilled to be FINE FREE in an effort to encourage you to come back and keep borrowing. Your library card is your key to all free subscriptions, online resources, and digital materials, too. So get your library card and make a note of your barcode number!

Come discover, collaborate and connect with Your Library this winter and all year long. Visit our Calendar for our program schedule. Join us!

We look forward to seeing you here,

~ Stacey Maisch, Library Director