Finding Aids

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African American History Collection

The collection is divided into the following series: Montclair African American Heritage Project, MHS (2005-2007), Montclair African American Oral History Project, MPL (2000-2002), African American Oral History Project, MHS (2012-2013), African American YMCA (1909-1998), Joseph Greene Scrapbooks (1962-1997), African American Vertical Files: General (1907-2013), Vertical Files: African American Churches (1939-2006), and African American People Files (1957-2006). The Montclair Public Library also has materials on Montclair’s African American community.  Please see the end of this finding aid for a list of collections held there.


Amory Howe Bradford Papers

The documents in this collection primarily refer to Amory Howe Bradford, who was a prominent minister at the First Congregational Church in Montclair. He was well known within both the Montclair community and the Congregational church. The collection includes documents written and/or published by Amory Howe Bradford, such as letters and books. It also includes documents about him, such as newspaper articles, and publications by his son, Arthur Howe Bradford. 

Augustus Morrington and Ralph Crane

Augustus Morrington and Ralph Crane

Crane Family Collection

This collection contains documents pertaining to the Crane family, the founders of Montclair, New Jersey. They established themselves as a prominent family of the Newark area and remained so throughout the nineteenth century, which is when the majority of the collection was created. The collection also includes some materials relating to other families that were affiliated with the Cranes.

The Cedars, Home of Harry Fenn

The Cedars, Home of Harry Fenn

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Dudley Van Antwerp

This collection contains photographs, postcards, and other images documenting the life and career of Montclair architect, Dudley Van Antwerp (1867-1934). Dudley Strickland Van Antwerp was born August 27, 1867, in Huntington, Indiana and moved with his family to Montclair in 1880.  According to the Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, Van Antwerp studied architecture in New York and worked as a draftsman with several notable firms, including that of William B. Tuthill, the architect of Carnegie Hall (1891) in New York.  Early in the 1900s, after practicing architecture in a New York partnership, Van Antwerp opened an office in Montclair, where he had an independent practice for more than twenty-five years.  He died on January 17, 1934; a member of the American Institute of Architects, his obituary in the Montclair Times states that he designed 500 houses, indicating a prolific practice. Parts of this photograph collection have been categorized by address and digitized. Contact our staff to learn more!

Inez Bull Collection.

This collection contains scrapbooks, documents, and photographs documenting the life and career of Montclair musician and educator, Inez Bull (1920-2010). Inez Bull, a concert pianist and coloratura soprano, taught music at Julliard and worked with mentally challenged children in Totowa.  She was descendent of Ole Bull, a renowned violinist, who established a Norwegian colony in Pennsylvania.  She was awarded the St. Olav Medal by Norwegian King Harold V in 1999 for her work in establishing the Ole Bull Museum and Music Festival in Galeton, PA and serving as a goodwill ambassador

1934 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

1934 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

Map and Blueprint Collections

This collection consists of a large quantity of maps and blueprints, which makes up a significant portion of the Montclair History Center’s map collection. The blueprints and architectural plans pertain mostly to the properties owned by MHC - the Crane House & Historic YWCA, the Clark House, and Evergreens, and additionally Montclair railroads, Grove Street School, and more. The maps describe Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey, and the United States. The tax maps demonstrate how the town of Montclair has evolved over time, in terms of property ownership, boundaries, and so on. As their name implies, the tax maps were intended for tax assessment purposes. The information used to compile the maps includes surveys, plans, and deeds. 

Montclair Dramatic Club

Montclair Dramatic Club

Montclair Dramatic Club

The collection provides an excellent overview of the activities of the Montclair Dramatic Club.  The collection has been divided into nine series: Administrative Files (1919-1991), Publicity (1918-1990), Financial Records (1950-1987), Tagline (1945-1992), Junior Wing Division (1963-1986), Programs (1889-1991), Scripts (1871-1964), Sheet Music (1948-1971), Photographs (1897-1987).

Hortense Ridley Tate Montclair Public Library Collection

Hortense Ridley Tate
Montclair Public Library Collection

Montclair Flat Files

This collection contains a large volume of files that pertain to many aspects of Montclairs rich history. It includes a vast wealth of information on specific people, organizations and groups, as well as the towns government, committees, and schools. It highlights significant aspects of Montclairs history, such as the Crane family and the towns African American heritage.

Newspapers and Prints

This collection includes a combination of historic magazines, newspapers, photographs, prints and posters. While some of these items document the history of Montclair, others relate to the broader spectrum of American history.


Nineteenth Century Plays

This small collection contains a variety of plays that were performed on both British and American stages during the nineteenth century. They range from comedies and farces to dramas and operas. Some of the playwrights were well known in their day, while others were perhaps more obscure. The plays themselves may not be the authors’ best-known works, but enjoyed some success on the stage.[1] Regardless of their popularity, these plays provide us with a unique glimpse at nineteenth-century theater and entertainment.

Godey's Lady Book 1866

Godey's Lady Book 1866

Rare Books Collection

This list represents the collection of rare and unique books at the Montclair History Center. They cover a range of subjects such as Montclair history, New Jersey and United States history, and genealogy, as well as bound volumes of periodicals such as Harper’s. The majority of these books are also available for free digitally through HathiTrust Digital Library or GoogleBooks. They can be accessed by clicking on the provided links. In most cases, individual pages or the entire book can be downloaded as a PDF file.