The Past is Present in Our Local History Room

March 27, 2014 // Filed under Uncategorized


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Thanks to the dedicated work of some Bernardsville Public Library volunteers, a large trove of Somerset Hills family histories, artifacts, photographs, and books have been preserved in the library’s Edwin S. Spinning Local History Room. Significant collections in the Local History Room include the Fred Pitney Crater negatives from the early 20th century. Hundreds of these negatives have now been scanned and are viewable on our website. These negatives document town life in the early 1900’s and include marvelous images of various well-known mansions built for industrialists seeking country living on a grand scale.

Decorative holiday cards and postcards dating approximately from 1905 make up another extensive collection in the Local History Room.  Postcards of area sites and state-wide views are particularly of interest.  Maps, manuscripts, old medicine bottles, and crockery comprise some of the other items donated to the library for preservation.  Oftentimes, these donated items have been found in home basements or attics long after having been left behind by their original owners.

The Local History Room also maintains a file of obituaries dating back to the 1800’s for genealogists in search of family histories.  For those who want to revisit their youthful days in Bernardsville or research a family member who graduated from Bernards High School, a collection of high school yearbooks dating back to 1907 may be looked at on days when the Local History Room is open.  Our dedicated volunteers are present on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. to show you these items, discuss local history, answer questions or receive donated materials pertinent to Bernardsville’s past.  Please keep this wonderful resource in mind.

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