Local History & Genealogy

New Jersey Reference Collection

The New Jersey reference collection, located on the second floor of the library includes both historic and current reference materials relating to New Jersey and concentrating on the Morris County area. Included in the collection are the following:

  • New Jersey Legislative Manual from 1885.
  • Freeholder minutes from 1978.
  • Ordinances and master plans for many Morris County municipalities.
  • Early American Imprints (microprint), of the text of every non-serial title (books. pamphlets, and broadsides) printed in the United States from 1639-1800. MCL is one of the only libraries in the state with this series.


Telephone directories are for the Morris County area from 1969.

Our City Directories(DOC, 393KB)  are for various years and communities.


The Reference Department can assist with local newspaper obituary searches for deceased Morris County residents. Contact the Reference Department (973-285-6969) with the name of the deceased, obituary/death date, and last residence.

Other libraries in Morris County might be able to help as well once the correct local newspaper is identified.

Morris County collection holdings include:

Microfilm holdings(PDF, 23KB) include:

  • Morris County property deeds and marriage records.
  • New Jersey federal census schedules (1830-1910).
  • 18th-19th century newspapers.
  • Federal census indexes for New Jersey (1830-1860).
  • New Jersey State census (1855-1915).
  • County tax ratables (1778-1822).


Holdings include:

Reference Books

We have approximately 4,500 monographs covering a wide range of subjects. These include:

  • 19th century county histories.
  • Soil surveys for nearly every county in the state.
  • State historic sites survey reports for each of the Morris County communities.
  • New Jersey pension or service rosters for wars from the Revolution to the Vietnam.

Special Collections

The Morris County Library Special Collections include:

  • Histories of cemeteries, churches, organizations, historic houses, schools.
  • Personal papers (18th-19th century) recording family/local history, deeds, land surveys.
  • Ford family papers (microfilm).
  • Lloyd Smith Manuscript collection, Natl Park Service Morristown historic site (microfilm).
  • Palladium of Liberty(PDF, 18KB) (Morristown, 1817-1834).

To view a sampling of historic photographs, postcards, and more, from the Morris County Library Special Collections, visit The Archive Project.

Vertical File

Newspaper clippings and pamphlets dealing with current and historic New Jersey-related subjects.

For additional information or to place a research request, please contact the Reference Department at 973-285-6969.